Alfa and Williams have no desire to be B-teams


While Haas appears to strengthen its ties to Ferrari, Williams and Alfa Romeo insist that they have no intention of becoming B-teams.

No sooner does Ferrari announce that its head of chassis engineering, Simone Resta is joining Haas than it is revealed that the American outfit will have a satellite 'factory' at Maranello, leading to speculation that not only is the team evolving into a B-team but that the Italian manufacturer is looking at ways to 'get around' the impending budget cap.

Williams and Alfa Romeo, on the other hand, admit that whilst having close ties to Mercedes and Ferrari, respectively, both are determined to remain independent.

"We can see advantages," admits team principal, Simon Roberts, "but we don't want to become a B-team. We want to retain our independence but we want to be more competitive so for us.

"Looking forward, we're open to extending a relationship," he continued, "but the specification of that would depend on what we think we're strong at, internally, and where we think we need help and support.

"In simple terms, if we're good at something and we can do it - quicker to the market, quicker to the track - we should focus on that," he added. "If there's something we can't do very well, then we should be prepared to buy that from whoever's got it available and under the cost-cap.

"You can't afford to be inefficient and that's what we're focusing on. We need to make sure that if we're making chassis, we're really good at making our chassis and we apply that to everything in the car.

"But we are independent, we're going to remain independent but there is scope for collaboration."

"The projects are different from team to team," added Frederic Vasseur, "and I think one of the big assets of the Sauber company today is the wind tunnel, and we want to continue to invest in this.

"Now, for sure, the plan is to stay independent with the system, with the budget cap and it makes also sense to develop more technology in house and to continue in this direction.

"I don't want to make any comment on the project of the others," he continued. "I think that the philosophy of F1 is like this, the rule is on the paper now and we can have different approaches but I think that from our perspective, we have to continue to stay independent and even more independent in the future, even if the collaboration with Ferrari is good and we want to develop this kind of collaboration. But it's our project."

Asked about Haas' relationship with Ferrari, the Alfa boss said: "We don't have the same approach as Haas and I don't want to make any comment on the Guenther project and Gene's project.

"We are independent," he insisted. "We have a good collaboration with Ferrari on the engine and on the gearbox but that's it. We want to develop the car by ourselves and to continue like we are doing the last couple of years."

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Published: 24/12/2020
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