An Alfa Romeo hypercar at Le Mans? If the sums add up says Imparato | CAR Magazine

An Alfa Romeo hypercar at Le Mans? If the sums add up says Imparato

Published: 19 April 2024 Updated: 19 April 2024

► Alfa Romeo pulled out of F1 in 2023
► But what’s next? 
► There are options if the price is right

Alfa Romeo is methodically and shrewdly electrifying its road car line up – most recently with the release of the Milano Junior (below) – it’s very first EV. But that doesn’t mean the brand from Milan has lost its passion for motorsport. 

Speaking at the launch of its first EV – and the second model to be released since Alfa’s Zero to Zero promise (in which it’ll go from zero EVs in 2022, to zero emission sales by 2027) – boss Imparato revealed that Alfa would still love to return to motorsport. He has a few conditions to meet first, though. 

‘I exit from the Sauber team in 2022/2023,’ said Imparato in his usual, direct way. ‘Because Sauber had sold to Audi at a price that for me was completely mad.’ 

‘I let them spend their money in developing engines and everything,’ he added. ‘I cannot afford as an Alfa Romeo to be in this game.’

What are the options? 

Sauber ran with Alfa Romeo branding from 2019 to 2023, but Audi will now swallow the team whole: after initially agreeing to part ownership, Ingolstadt will now acquire 100% of the team, giving it complete control of its entry in 2026. 

Significantly, it’ll be developing a new powertrain while also utilising all the know-how of the Sauber team’s chassis engineers. The project will start just in time for new engine and chassis regulations, and it’ll be headed up by ex-Porsche WEC and then ex-McLaren F1 team principal Andreas Seidl.

So, with F1 off the table, what else can Alfa do? The options aren’t exactly limited, but it also needs to consider the history and strengths of its Stellantis siblings: 

 ‘A rally?’ asks Imparato out loud. ‘Not me – it’s Lancia. There is one brand in [rallying]: Lancia. I don’t know if they took the decision to [join] but the only thing I can do is endurance.’ 


That’s right; if Alfa was go to into endurance it’ll likely go into the WEC championship – and who would argue with that. The brand already has a proven track record in endurance racing, and the most recent set of hypercar rules have already attracted entries from brands such as Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini and Cadillac among others. 

‘If I were to do something once in terms of motorsport it would be sport prototipi.’ Imparato confirms.

See you at Le Mans, then? 

Well, not exactly. Imparato speaks with passion when it comes to Alfa, but he’s just as passionate about sticking to a sensible business case. And it appears that the hypercar one doesn’t quite add up right now – or won’t if you’re trying to be competitive. 

 ‘I think they are [diverting people] from Formula One because they want to avoid to be capped,’ Imperato theorises of at least one of the teams. ‘And, as a consequence, they are spending tonnes of money in endurance. That is totally not professional. That is my view.’

Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale

‘If they don’t correct the trajectory [they’ll have] the same movement they faced in 2015 when the season was costing 200 million. I can tell you I will not put 200 million per season, because if you know Carlos…’

Imparato didn’t finish that sentence, but his point was crystal clear. We know how Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis operates and he wouldn’t be happy if Alfa started to chuck its money at an unchecked passion project. Let’s ignore the 33 Stradale (above) for a minute…

What’s the outlook then? 

‘I will go there if the cost [works] for me,’ Imparato says. ‘If I have to spend more than 10% of my fixed marketing expenses in motorsport. Stop. Stop because it is not professional. And I will not support something that is not professional.’

Well, you can’t be more direct than that, can you? Put some form of a budget cap on WEC hypercar rules, and you may well see an Alfa Romeo hypercar on the grid. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes