Alfa Romeo will ‘go over the books’ before extending Ferrari deal
Alfa Romeo team boss Frédéric Vasseur says the Swiss outfit will review next year its partnership with Ferrari before eventually extending its association with its engine supplier.
Alfa’s current deal with Maranello runs until the end of 2021, but the introduction of a new set of rules in F1 from 2022 implies that the Hinwil squad’s next potential contract with Ferrari will need to cover the 2022-2026 regulation cycle.
“We are tied to Ferrari until the end of 2021,” Vasseur told Blick’s Roger Benoit. “Then we have to go over the books, because the next contract should be concluded from 2022 to 2026 because of the new cars.
“It’s like a marriage. Nobody guarantees that you will stay with the same woman forever – like me (laughs).
“In a partnership you always have to consider that there are ups and downs … So we have to ask ourselves: What is the best deal? Until now, Ferrari has mostly been a solid partner.”
While “solid” in its form, the Alfa-Ferrari partnership yielded little in terms of results in 2020. It was suggested to Vasseur that the Scuderia’s weak engine had perhaps significantly impacted his team’s performance this year.
“That’s your interpretation, but I can’t really disagree with you,” said the Frenchman. “But we lost 0.3 to 0.4 seconds per lap to our rivals.
“And the second half showed how big the Italian’s problems were when we fought against the works team and even finished ahead of them in Abu Dhabi!
“Apart from the reliability, we can’t be satisfied with the results – but this year must have been a disaster for Ferrari.”
Read also: ‘Happy’ Haas praise Schumacher’s ‘excellent attitude’
Alfa Romeo recently extended its deals with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi for 2021, a decision that surprised pundits who believed the Italian would be replaced by Ferrari protégé Mick Schumacher.
Vasseur was at a loss to explain why Ferrari opted to place Schumacher with Haas instead of Alfa.
“Beats me!,” he quipped when questioned on the matter. “Maybe it made more sense for Ferrari to bring Mick to Haas and keep Giovinazzi with us. For stability in the team.”
And stability is one of the few positives Vasseur is taking away from this year’s complicated coronavirus-impacted 2020 campaign.
“All our partners will stay,” he said. “Reserve driver Robert Kubica – who like regular drivers Räikkönen and Giovinazzi, did a very good job – and title sponsor Orlen will also stay with us in 2021.
“We were satisfied with all of our activities in the most difficult year. The same goes for the owners of the team who have been motivating us for years.
“This is great news for our employees, who will give everything in every department again. And we know that we have to improve in all areas.
“And if something comes from Ferrari, we can set our goals higher.”
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