Alfa Romeo snubs Haas: CEO Imperato explains F1 exit

Jean-Philippe Imperato, CEO of Alfa Romeo, has revealed his decision to step back from Formula 1 in 2024, marking an end to the Italian carmaker’s presence in the high-profile racing league. This move comes amid Sauber’s transition towards a full works project with Audi for 2026, bringing the team’s naming deal with Alfa Romeo to a close.

Despite rumors of a potential sponsorship shift to another Ferrari-linked team, Haas, Imperato dismissed the idea. In a statement to Ouest France newspaper, he explained his rationale, “Did we want to repeat an experience under the same conditions, by being a sponsor of a team for about twice the price? No, because it didn’t bring anything new and I had money to put into the development of my products. Becoming sponsor of another team and starting with the same story made little sense.”

Imperato’s vision for Alfa Romeo’s motorsport future, however, remains ambitious, with the World Endurance Championship, including the legendary Le Mans, catching his eye. But he clarifies, “If I do it, I don’t do it as a sponsor, I do it as an owner. And secondly, we would do it for a long time. We wouldn’t do it for less than three seasons, with one or two seasons of preparation.”

Financial considerations are at the forefront of Imperato’s decision-making process. He expressed caution, “The economic equation has not yet convinced me and I would not make the company take a risk that could send it back to areas where it would lose financially.” He also pointed out the rising costs in endurance racing, noting a trend towards increased expenses.

Imperato concluded with a hint of optimism, “But I really want to do something, so we work a lot. As soon as we find something that works, we’ll say what the program is.”

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