Formula 1 business expert Mark Gallagher says Alfa Romeo is “rooted in accepting its midfield position and “doesn’t know how to get out of”.
After several years spent battling to stay afloat at the rear of the F1 grid, Alfa Romeo enjoyed a fruitful start to the latest technical regulations last season, scoring 51 points in the opening nine rounds.
However, as other teams progressively caught up throughout the season, the Hinwil-based squad only accumulated a further four points in the remaining 13 rounds.
That regression in competitiveness has continued into 2023, with Alfa Romeo only scoring nine points across the first 12 race weekends to languish ninth in the Constructors’ Championship.
The Sauber-owned side will drop the Alfa Romeo moniker after 2022 ahead of its planned transition into an Audi, with Gallagher asserting the German marque will need to “completely reset” the entire team.
“I don’t want to break any confidences with what I’m about to say but I’ve had a very close insight into the issues that Alfa Romeo/Sauber face,” Gallagher told the GP Racing podcast.
“It’s a team that is rooted in accepting its midfield position and doesn’t, in many ways, know how to get out of that.
“The ambition isn’t even there to get out of that and the structure of the organisation isn’t a first-class structure, therefore, the performance of the organisation isn’t first class.
“So a team like Audi will need to completely reset that organisation in order to deliver their success in Formula 1.”
Gallagher has also warned that the same conversations being held about Alpine currently will be taking place about Audi once it ventures into F1 for the first time.
Alpine parted ways with Team Principal Otmar Szafnauer and Sporting Director Alan Permane ahead of the summer break, citing contrasting views on the side’s timeline for success as the primary reason for the split.
“Everything that we talked about in relation to Renault and [Luca] De Meo [Renault Group CEO] and Enstone, we will be having exactly the same conversation about Ingolstadt and Hinwil and Audi in Formula 1 in five years’ time,” he declared.
“We’ll be in the 2028 season and Audi will have been in Formula 1 for two years and they will not have been achieving anything and the guys at the Volkswagen Audi group will be banging the table saying ‘What do we have to do? Who do we need to get in? What’s the magic bullet?’”