Named as Alfa Romeo’s team representative but not team boss, Alessandro Alunni Bravi sidestepped the question of who’ll take on the team principal role when Audi take over.
This year’s championship marks the final season in which Alfa Romeo will be the title sponsor of the Sauber team, the Italian company opting not to extend their deal with Audi’s takeover on the horizon.
The German manufacturer will take over the Sauber team in 2026, effectively running it as a works team as they’ll also be producing the engine.
Already they’ve bought a 25 percent stake in Sauber, that set to increase to 50 percent next year and then 75 before the team takes on the Audi name in 2026.
But while that’s still a few years off, preparations are already well underway with Sauber bringing in Andreas Seidl to oversee the changes with Alunni Bravi named Alfa Romeo’s team representative for the 2023 season.
He’ll take on the daily activities while also representing the team at grand prix weekends, freeing up Seidl to focus on Sauber’s switch to Audi.
But already the question is being asked who’ll be the team boss come Audi’s takeover.
Motorsport.com suggested former F1 driver Allan McNish, who’s already part of Audi’s plans, is the obvious candidate.
For now, though, Alunni Bravi says Sauber’s not thinking that far in advance.
“We are focused on 2023, really,” he told Motorsport.com. “We know that we need to deliver our job now, we are focused on the overall performance of the team.
“We know that the work we do on a daily basis will also shape our future. But we need to work and be focused on the day-by-day. We have a lot of work ahead of us.
“For me the biggest challenge is to push the button and to start the 2023 season. And then from time to time, we will think about the future.
“But the future you build each day, delivering your best, being focused on what you do. This is the best way to build the future, to focus on the daily business.”
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Last season the team finished sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, holding off Aston Martin at the final race of the season to beat the Silverstone outfit by virtue of Valtteri Bottas’ season-high fifth place at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
This year Alunni Bravi insists he’s not setting any targets, he just wants overall improvement.
“We don’t target a result for this year,” he said. “For every team it’s very difficult to know where we stand ahead of the start of the season.
“But our target during the wintertime has been to analyse the 2022 season and to address all our weaknesses and to fix them.
“Only the track will say if we have been doing the right work, but the target for sure is to improve the overall performance. Which means for us to solve the reliability issues that we had last year, to be consistent throughout all the season.
“And then at the end of the season, we will see where we will be.”