There are those who say no to total technical dependence on Ferrari

F1 Alfa Romeo is among the positive surprises of this start of the 2022 World Cup. There is a feeling that the team founded by Peter Sauber and now lead them back to the Swiss consortium Longbow Finance SA reaped less than it sowed in terms of potential. Scrolling through the manufacturers ranking we find the C42 at 9 points. A score resulting from the sixth place of Valtteri Bottas and the tenth of Zhou Guanyu obtained in Bahrain.

The second GP was unlucky for the Swiss team who had to call the former back to the pits Mercedes while it was easily in the points due to an abnormal overheating at the power unit Ferrari and, at the same time, which saw the Chinese driver doubly penalized by the commissioners. But, in terms of speed, after solving the problems of porpoising manifested with great evidence in the winter tests of Barcelonathe creature of Jan Monchaux he poured out great consistency. Enough to throw off balance Bottas who talked about overtaking the Mercedes as a short-term goal (read here).

Valtteri Bottas “inspects his Alfa Romeo C42 during practice sessions of the Saudi Arabian GP 2022

Often alludes to Sauber as a kind of satellite team of the Ferrari. The commercial partnership should not be confused with the technical one. It is clear that the Swiss borrow common parts from F1-75but the transfer is not as massive as for example between the Red and the Haas. The Swiss engineers are quite proud of their work and do not intend to yield to third parties merits that they do not have in a prodigious performance recovery made in the short span of a championship.

The transfer of components from one team to another is regulated by the technical regulations of the F1. The code identifies three macro-categories of pieces: the standard partsie those whose design is the responsibility of the individual teams. The “open-source” partsie those that each team has the right to design and use, making known the drawings that can be used by others competitor. In this sense, the talk about the fuel pumps he saw comes to mind Red Bull protagonist a Sakhir (read here). Finally, there are the transferable ones. And this is the field in which Alfa Romeo is keen to present a peculiar operating model in which we try to reduce the acquisition of vehicle sections from the Ferrari.

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the rear wing specification used by Ferrari for the Jeddah Grand Premo

Between Hinwil and Maranello there is no real project sharing as happens with the Haas. The US group is the one that more than any other takes full advantage of the know how of the reference team. Obviously within the limits imposed by the regulation. He even enjoys it more than he does‘AlphaTauri face with Red Bull. Jody Eggintontechnical director of the Faenza company, recently declared that they start from some loanable parts of the parent company and then take an autonomous development path.

If the VF22 Of Simone Resta acquires from F1-75 the engine, transmission and both front and rear suspension packages, the C42 uses only the engine and internal gearbox cascade which is Swiss made. This necessity arose because the single-seater was conceived by the staff captained by the engineer Monchaux is equipped with a suspension push-rod which deviates from pull-rod from the Red. Different anchors that have resulted in a different design of the gearbox casing.

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F1 – Alfa Romeo C42

That of reducing “the scope of supply”(As the French technical director defined it) is a strategic choice that is paying off. The Swiss team has decided to step out of the way for two reasons Ferrari in defining the tank, the external structure of the gearbox and the rear suspension. The first is of a financial nature.

Sauber, in fact, he prefers to design and manufacture the components himself since, in this way, he manages to contain costs. Paying another team would have been more expensive and, in times of budget capeach resource must be optimized in order to unlock other developments that would otherwise remain in the mind of the engineers.

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Kevin Magnussen aboard his Haas VF22

Secondly, you want to have some degree of freedom in a year that presents a massive technical remodeling. Using third parties is good because it gives you the ability to work on a prepackaged package. But this has a negative side: it conditions the entire development of the car which must take into account how those details are built and above all how they interact with the car body and with the aero-mechanical philosophy underlying it. Determining some pieces by oneself, on the other hand, gives the opportunity to follow a specific design trend to the end.

Pros and cons that ad Hinwil have been carefully screened until the decision was made to maintain a certain degree of independence from the technical offices of Maranello. For now, the move is paying off. But the effects of this strategy will only be fully assessable in the medium term. Alpha certainly does not have the ambitions of the highest ranking, but the idea of ​​being able to exploit a certain freedom is a sign that the ambitions are high and that it is believed that, given the financial rules, it is possible to fill a good part of that gap that over the years has separated it from the stables that could spend without paying too much attention to budgets.


F1-Author: Diego Catalano@ diegocat1977

Photo:F1, F1TV, Alfa Romeo Racing

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