Last November, the Sauber F1 team welcomed the Alfa Romeo name back into Formula 1. As a result, the Swiss racing outfit strengthened their bond with technical partner, Ferrari. After rebranding, the Turin automaker’s name has finally returned to the top tier of motorsport. Now, fellow Ferrari customer team Haas F1 have said that they are open to a similar Sauber-Alfa Romeo deal.
Haas F1 team boss Gunther Steiner claimed that Ferrari have not come forward with such a proposition. But he admitted that Haas were open to such a deal. He believes that it could could help boost global branding and marketing. Steiner said, “Why not? We are open always to talks. If somebody’s got some ideas, yeah, for sure we are interested in it. But is it our priority? Maybe not.”
Fiat-Chrysler subsidiary Maserati was strongly linked to a Formula 1 tie up with Haas. But things looked unlikely at present. Since 2016, the Haas F1 team has been funded by owner Gene Haas’ own company. This could likely be a problem in the future, as Steiner explains, and external sponsorship is key to a successful future in the sport.
Steiner continued “I think that’s a priority, it’s just difficult to get sponsors. You see it on the other teams, the big teams, even they struggle. And for us as a small team, it’s even more difficult. And then what we need to avoid is to give ourselves away too cheap, because then you never recover. If you sell yourself cheap, you never get value for it anymore.”
It would be interesting if Haas did follow a Sauber-Alfa Romeo tie up. However, Haas have insisted that they won’t become a Ferrari B-team. Also, another question to consider is, would Ferrari influence the Haas driver lineup like they did for Sauber?