Alfa Romeo eyes WEC following F1 exit

Italian brand sponsored Sauber for six years, acting as title sponsor since 2019.
  • Alfa Romeo held discussions with Haas around F1 sponsorship switch
  • WEC collaboration with fellow Stellantis-owned brand Peugeot rumoured

Alfa Romeo is exploring a switch to the World Endurance Championship (WEC) following its exit from Formula One.

The Italian brand was title sponsor of the Sauber team for the last six seasons but has ruled out a switch to another team in the series.

“We weren't interested in aiming to do a copy/paste operation in the style of the one done with Sauber,” Alfa Romeo chief executive Jean-Philippe Imparato told Motorsport.com.

“It would have led us to become one of those who puts stickers on bodywork. It would no longer have been new and we wouldn't have been part of a story.  

“We started looking at something else, quickly reaching a conclusion. Alfa Romeo has nothing to do with the world of rallying, the Stellantis group already has two brands involved in Formula E, and so the focus has shifted to the WEC, a world in which Alfa Romeo has lived in the past wonderful experiences.”

Reports linked Alfa Romeo to a potential sponsorship tie-up with the Haas Formula One team, but this did not come to fruition. It most likely came down to the fact that Alfa Romeo was unlikely to receive the same level of visibility.

“We have no intention to change the team name. Haas will stay Haas, and MoneyGram will be the title sponsor,” Haas team principal Guenther Steiner told BlackBook Motorsport.

Alfa Romeo’s move to WEC could see a collaboration with fellow Stellantis-owned brand Peugeot, but it is currently far from being confirmed.

Despite its sponsorship of Sauber coming to a premature end thanks to the Audi takeover of the Swiss team, Imparato is pleased with how the has sponsorship progressed since 2018.

He concluded: “[It was] the best investment in history. We can say that in terms of image return, for every euro we spent we received 20 back.  

“At the same time, we are a little sad because we are leaving a team that has embraced our brand for six years, and with which we have had an extraordinary relationship.”

BlackBook says…

It is clear that Alfa Romeo would have preferred to stay in Formula One, but not if it had to dilute its visibility – something that Haas could not promise in discussions.

Conversations were advanced enough for MoneyGram chief marketing officer Greg Hall to tell BlackBook Motorsport that “if Alfa Romeo wants to join, we’d fully welcome that”.

With MoneyGram locked in as title sponsor of the American team until 2027, Alfa Romeo had no option but to look to other motorsport series.

Turning to WEC highlights the Italian brand’s eye for an opportunity, with the global endurance racing series growing exponentially in recent years.

Fourteen manufacturers and a record number of hypercars will compete in the series next season, with the likes of Alpine, BMW, Lamborghini and McLaren all signing on for 2024. 

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