Haas team boss Guenther Steiner and Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato held introductory talks in Monaco, leading to suggestions that the brands could partner up as of F1 2024.
Alfa Romeo are moving towards the end of their partnership with Sauber Motorsport, which sees their team operated by the Swiss brand, but run under the Alfa Romeo name.
But, with Sauber preparing to become the Audi works team as of 2026, it was confirmed that 2023 would be the final year of this Alfa Romeo-Sauber alliance, with Alfa Romeo’s plans from that point on not yet clear. Could it involve Haas?
Team principal Steiner confirmed ahead of the Spanish GP that he was introduced to Alfa Romeo CEO Imparato at the last round in Monaco, the brand plotting their next move in Steiner’s opinion, though talks did not reach a stage where any offers were put on the table.
On the subject of possible Alfa Romeo sponsorship come 2024, Steiner, as per Motorsport.com, said: “A lot of people are telling that to me, but the only ones who haven’t told me that yet are Alfa Romeo.
“Obviously they are looking at what they are doing in the future, and they came to see us, to see how we are doing. It was an introduction, nothing else.
“I had never met the CEO before in my life and we just got introduced. Obviously there was nothing to hide, he just said ‘hello’, and that was it. I don’t know what they are doing in the future.
“I think they’re looking what they want to do, that’s my feeling, but they didn’t tell me.”
Alfa Romeo have very much broken the mold with the style of their Sauber link-up, so that did understandably raise the question of whether Haas could potentially be open to taking on the Alfa Romeo name should any deal be agreed.
Steiner though made it clear that this has not been discussed with team owner Gene Haas, and so is a matter which he could not give an answer on.
“I don’t know because we never spoke about this, so I don’t know,” he responded on the subject of potentially giving up the Haas name or striking a title sponsorship deal.
“I don’t have an answer for that because we haven’t discussed with Gene about this. There is nothing on the table, therefore I don’t even think about. it. I have a lot of other things to do.”
Hard to envisage Haas taking this plunge
Haas are a team that has not had the best of luck over recent years when it comes to title sponsors, their associations with Rich Energy and the Mazepins creating major headaches for the Ferrari-powered outfit.
But, now aligned with MoneyGram as their title sponsor, this from the outside at least appears to be a stable union which is providing Haas with vital funding in their bid to move up the midfield, alongside full freedom and a hands-off approach to team management.
Joining forces with Alfa Romeo would very likely mean an early end to the multi-year agreement between Haas and MoneyGram, and there is not a huge amount of evidence there which suggests it would be worth it.
Having the Alfa Romeo brand in Formula 1 certainly brings many more positives than negatives, though their record with Sauber is not earth-shattering in the perspective of a team like Haas, with no podiums scored as this Alfa Romeo-Sauber partnership enters a fifth and final season, P6 last season being their highest Constructors’ Championship finish.
If MoneyGram were not in this equation, then it would be just about understandable if Haas decided to give it a shot with Alfa Romeo, but it just does not feel like an ordeal worth going through, unless Alfa Romeo settle for a more traditional sponsor agreement and leave MoneyGram Haas to do their thing.