Alfa Romeo Forums banner
381 - 400 of 407 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
768 Posts
For Binotto, I suspect it was either quit or be fired. Not announcing his replacememt until January, however, is less than ideal. He will have little opportunity to get to know everyone on the team, let alone anaylize the source of problems and find suitable replacements.

Alonso winning another WDC with Aston Martin? Extremely unlikely, although I do expect to see improvements, Indeed, I suspect that Alonso would be pleased to see them competing with and beating Alpine, who disrespected him by offering him only a one year extension as essentially a short-term placeholder for an unproven 21 year old rookie who ultimately had no loyalty to the team. Personally, I would be pleased to see that as well as Otmar Szafnauer left Aston for Alpine in January and has proven to be divisive at best, if not incompetent at managing the team’s driver lineup.
 

· Administrator
Joined
·
18,507 Posts
If I was Leclerc I'd be leaving Ferrari as soon as I could. So much like the 80's early 90's again

And while I would enjoy Alonso winning again, Aston Martin ... don't even belong in F1 IMO. Don't understand why they are burning money being involved ... Makes as much sense as Apple taking on dentistry
Pete
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,246 Posts
You don’t have a set of Apple iTeeth yet? Late adopter.....

I read a couple of opinions that pushing Binotto aside, or making it impossible for him to carry on, is like starting over after real progress had been made. Binotto has learned from these mistakes and failures, but now theylll be back to square one.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
768 Posts
@PSk , if Aston Martin doesn’t belong in F1, what about teams like Red Bull ( an energy drink company ), Alphatauri ( clothing ), Benetton ( clothing ) etc.? At least they are a manufacturer of high performance road cars with a history of success in endurance racing, including 1st and 2nd overall at Lemans in 1959 and 1st and 3rd there this year in GTE with their Vantage. The latter being perhaps the best evidence of the impact of Stroll’s desire to improve the performance image of the brand.

He is investing almost unlimited resources in their new factory and wind tunnel and 2023 will be the first new design under Dan Fallows, the former chief aerodynamicist at Red Bull. Fallow’s success over the years in that role cannot be overstated and his brilliance, combined with the increased wind tunnel time for finishing 2022 so far down in the standings, could bring about some surprises over the next couple of years. We’ll see.

Personally, I’m glad to see the return to the grid of a car liveried in the current iteration of British Racing Green. I must also confess that I have had a soft spot for Aston Martin ever since seeing James Bond in the gorgeous DB5 in Goldfinger as a 9 year old.

While Stroll’s aim with Aston Martin may be nothing more than marketing ( “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” ), there can be no denying that in only a few years his efforts in racing, producing 25 Replica 007 DB5’s, financing a podcast hosted by Elizabeth Hurley to find the original missing James Bond car ( which actually worked! ), have advanced the status of a once dying brand. If only Alfa Romeo were prepared to commit to a similar strategy!
 

· Administrator
Joined
·
18,507 Posts
My point with Aston Martin is they had a unique and wonderful position in the automotive market, and that was the luxury performance GT. As you say they won Le Mans overall.

Luxury performance GT does not match F1 in my opinion. If their marketing department was clever, they would say they are above such trivial things as unrecognisable weird cars that have no connection to their road cars, which is why we do GT racing. Also Aston Martin had a laughable attempt at F1 back in the late 50's with an early 50's car. Every time I hear of Aston Martin's F1 heritage I want to smack their marketing person across the face ... the company should be too embarrassed to even mention it.

All the other teams you mention were born during the Cosworth DFV era and were created as 100% race teams. Those teams would have called themselves anything their sponsors wanted. Different thing.

So I do not understand why Aston Martin with a brand recognition and unique position in the automotive market would put themselves on the F1 grid which does not fit that luxury performance GT market ... unless they think doing F1 helps fight against Ferrari with their wonderfully stylish Rosa.

I said similar when Jaguar was on the F1 grid. Ford, who owned Jaguar, at the time should have put a Ford on the grid. Would have made more sense due to the Cosworth DFV and their related history in F1.

Marketing people ... guess they don't know or care about automotive history?

BTW: If Alfa Romeo had not been involved in F1 in the 1950s and later I would say they had no place on the grid either. Their position in the automotive market now is the enthusiasts family car (think 159, 156, 147, Guilietta, Guilia, 75, Alfetta and Belina). That is their main market and one I love them for. If I had the funds I would own a modern Guilia, or SUV, as while moving the family around I am enjoying my hobby at the same time :). Wife would think it's just a boring car, but I would be a happily little chappy. If Alfa Romeo want to go racing, they should be entering saloon car race series and competing against BMW, and then every time they win as I got into my modern Guilia I would give it a pat, pump my chest out and look down at every BMW I see in the traffic jam
Pete
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,246 Posts
but....better than a soap company or underwear or bitcoin like NASCAR, no? It IS an automotive manufacturer (who don't actually build the racecar, no). (This is a frustration of mine with Sauber "Alfa")

I find myself doing the "It's not like it was in the old days!!!!" sometimes, but the DFV era was a long time ago, and the industry, and racing, and marketing, and world money games, have changed. The Middle East has DUMPED money into it and now hosts races I would rather see elsewhere. The Chinese own Volvo. India owns Jaguar-Land Rover. It's a different landscape.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,246 Posts
1959 > No sponsorship on race cars. RED cars are ITALIAN!

1960 (-ish ?) > all hell breaks loose. Advertisers, WINGS??! The world stops turning.

...time passes.....

1997 > Stewart Grand Prix. Ford engines. Nobody doesn't love Sir Jackie Stewart.
1999 > Sold to Ford. Renamed Jaguar (?).
2004 > Ford sells to an energy drink company from Austria, "red bull" or something, gross stuff.... Ford Cosworth engines.
Red Bull also sponsors Sauber, cancelled after Ford purchase.
Snowboarders and motocrossers and monster truck drivers performing backflips all getting drunk on red bull drinks during media appearances. Scott Speed hired to market energy drinks to Americans.
2006 > It's now a Ferrari, not a Ford.
2007 > It's now a Renault!
2013 > Now it's an Infiniti! (but with Renault engines)
2014 > Horner mocks Renault engines.
2016 > It's now a TAG-Heuer (Renault)! "Technology partnership" with Aston Martin.
2018 > Aston Martin is now title sponsor (but it's not an Aston Martin, it's still a TAG-Heuer - who make watches - but really a Renault)
2019 > Now it's a Honda!...no, really!
2022 > It's still a Honda, but not a Honda, because Honda doesn't want to make their motors anymore, but they agree to keep making them.
Oracle is a billionaire in California who sponsors race cars and America's Cup contenders and various international YOT race boats.
2026 > Mayyybe it's a PORSCHE now!
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,246 Posts
1948 > Scuderia Ferrari builds race cars and their own engines and goes Grand Prix racing!

....time passes.....

2024 > Ferrari continues to build race cars and their own engines to compete in Formula 1 (but isn't winning...lately..)
 

· Registered
Joined
·
768 Posts
@PSk, I agree that Aston Martin’s previous foray into F1 was a disaster. I also agree that their road car pedigree is one of luxury/performance GT’s. However, F1 viewership is massively on the rise whereas Sedan Racing appeals to a much, much smaller market. For promotional purposes, F1 is where it is at!

Will Stroll’s efforts actually pay off in terms of sales/profits for Aston Martin’s road cars? Again time will tell, but I wouldn’t bet against his marketing prowess.

I also believe that Alfa Romeo’s brand recognition would benefit from a similar approach. Their success in F1 dates back to the early 50’s and is essentially lost on most car enthusiasts in this day and age. Their relatively small, short-term investment in sponsoring a mid-field/back-end team was inevitably going to accomplish little for the brand. One can virtually guarantee that Audi’s investment in the same team will be exponentially greater and aimed ultimately towards on-track success.

Formula 1 has never been more popular, especially in the US - a market in which Alfa Romeo has either been absent, or only marginally committed to over the last several decades. While trite, there is some truth to the notion that you have to spend money to make money. Achieving even modest success in F1 would have been costly for Alfa Romeo, but one must assume that Mercedes, Aston Martin, Alpine and now Audi can justify it on the basis of a cost-benefit analysis.

What if, like Aston Martin with their limited number of new DB5’s, Alfa Romeo were to produce a very limited, hand built production run of a remake of the gorgeous 33 Stradale? Italy still has the coachbuilders capable of such a project and it would likely get some serious attention in the motoring press as well as at car shows. Priced in the millions, could the project pay for itself just as Aston Martin’s project did? If nothing else, it would generate some excitement for the brand that is now lacking.

What about a retro-look GTAm, complete with the flares of the original racing versions? Porsche was saved by the introduction of their 550 Spyder influenced Boxster in 1997 - and their initial promotional videos successfully played up that heritage. The Guilia, nice car that it is, just doesn’t pull at the heart strings, let alone connect with the history of the marque.

Anyway, just my imagination getting away with me…..
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,246 Posts
I am much like you in that I long for a retro-new design that recalls AR's past glory and awakens the brand name. It will be dark red, it will be loud, it will be fast.....

I feel, however, that unlike a family-owned Porsche business or a powerhouse Mercedes Benz business or a vintage Aston Martin British business, AR is now a small part of a French-American conglomerate that makes money off Citroens and Dodge trucks.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
768 Posts
Vivace, Porsche is no longer strictly family owned. In 2012, Volkswagen AG bought out Porsche AG ( the carmaker), although the Porsche/Piech families own Porsche SE, which holds the controlling interest in Volkswagen. Clear as mud?

However, I fear that you are right. Perhaps once Alfa Romeo are driven into receivership, someone like Lawrence Stroll can step in and acquire the marque. I know, once again I am just letting my imagination run away with me ( apologies to the Temptations ).
 

· Registered
Joined
·
3,246 Posts
(Just doing a bit of homework for myself and entering it into the record regarding some of the teams we're familiar with. I find many surprises in the shifting sands of money and sponsorship)


1970 > PP Sauber AG, a Swiss racecar company, formed by ex-driver Peter Sauber.

Post 1988, end of 1.5 turbo era, turmoil in the engine supplier end of F1, old companies like Brabham and Lotus disappear.

Mercedes toys with plans to enter F1 as a team collaboration with Sauber and an Ilmor V10, but that is shelved, (although they are funding Sauber).

1993 > Sauber enters F1 with a Mercedes engine.
1994 . Sauber-Mercedes is the official Mercedes factory-backed team. Ilmor-Mercedes 3.5 V10.
Sauber voluntarily prototypes new head protection for their drivers.
1995 > Red Bull guy buys controlling share of Sauber. They use a variation of the Cosworth Ford V8. Petronas becomes a sponsor.
1996 > Now using a Cosworth V10.
1997 > Now using Ferrari V10 built by Sauber-Petronas Engineering. Many similarities to the HAAS-Ferrari relationship today.
2001 > The hiring of Kimi Raikkonen makes Red Bull sell their controlling shares to Credit Suisse bank in protest.
2004 > New wind tunnel and supercomputer attract BMW Motorsport.
2006 > BMW Motorsport buys Credit Suisse's shares of Sauber, team is now BMW-Sauber. Peter Sauber still owns 20%.
Sauber builds the car using a BMW V8 engine. Petronas, Credit Suisse, and Intel become sponsors. BMW-Sauber considered 3rd behind Ferrari and McLaren teams.
2009 > BMW withdraws from Formula 1. Shell company Quadbak Investments Limited is said to purchase the team. They are neither a racecar fabricator nor a drinks company.
2010 > Peter Sauber repurchases the team and uses Ferrari engines. Legally still called BMW Sauber F1.
2012 > Major sponsorship from Premier League futball club Chelsea. Peter Sauber transfers 30% ownership to CEO Monisha Kaltenborn and steps back from management of the team.
2013 > Russian investors take part of team.
2016 > Swiss investment firm Longbow Finance buys out Sauber and Kaltenborn. Does that make it a "Longbow Ferrari??"
2018 > "Sauber" drops Ferrari engines for Honda...Longbow Sauber Honda?...but then switches back to Ferrari. "Maybe" related to new 'technical and commercial partnership' with Alfa Romeo.
2019 > Named Alfa Romeo Racing (not). PKN Orlen named as major sponsor (Polish oil company)
2023 > Alfa Romeo removes their sponsorship.
2026 > Team will become Audi Racing (?). Audi factory team, with Audi power units.
 

· Administrator
Joined
·
18,507 Posts
I'm not a fan of retro. Take Jaguar, their latest F type is bloody awesome. It's thoroughly modern. Sure it is a modern E-type but it is not compromised by having to be retro.

So what Alfa Romeo have done with the new Guilia is perfect, it is the modern replacement for the 1960's Guilia. All they need to do is create a modern Spider and Coupe. Let the T33 Stradale remain a cool historic car guys. Alfa Romeo is much more than that one car.
Pete
 
381 - 400 of 407 Posts
Top