Alfa Romeo may not have survived without F1 cost-saving measures - Vasseur

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Sauber, who race in Formula 1 as Alfa Romeo, may not have survived last year without the cost-saving measures introduced due to Covid-19.

The Swiss-based team has been on a stronger financial footing in recent years after being sold to Longbow Finance back in 2016, but like everyone, took a significant hit from the loss of revenue caused by the pandemic.

In response to the crisis situation, however, F1 agreed a number of changes which limited car development, chief among which was freezing key components like the chassis and suspension for 2021 as well as delaying the new technical regulations until 2022.

“It is never easy to take such a step because you are always a little afraid of someone else or give another team an advantage,” team boss Fred Vasseur explained to

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“If you have the feeling that you are not performing in Barcelona [in the pre-season test], you are not keen on freezing the car for the next 18 months.

“[But I am glad it happened] because I am not sure whether we would have been able to survive."

Vasseur also praised how F1, which has been notoriously political about every topic related to cost-saving, came together at a critical moment.

“So many things have happened in such a short period of time that I think it was like a revolution in Formula 1 thinking,” the Alfa chief added.

“In a couple of weeks we achieved a lot more than in the last decade – with the cost cap cut, the regulations changed, the fact that the FOM was able to run an incredible 17 race calendar in a couple of weeks and the associated agility of all teams.

“I think that we will probably have to face new issues in the future, and that means that if we work together we can improve the situation pretty quickly.”

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Also important is Sauber's current ties with Alfa which, though Vasseur wouldn't offer details, admitted offered a financial as well as a technical boost.

“This is crucial for us,” he told

“I don’t want to talk about the financial side of the matter, although it certainly plays a role. But it’s also the motivation that a team gets and the fact you can attract more people and let the company develop for the future. We need this kind of internal motivation.

“The fact that Alfa Romeo, the first World Champion in F1 history, wants to expand co-operation with us is not only a reward but also the next step for our company.”