The Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team has launched its own docuseries.
The first episode was uploaded to YouTube on Thursday, and it’s worth 8:47.00 of any F1 fan’s time.
Titled ‘Beyond the Visible’, the five-episode series will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the team throughout F1’s 2022 season, according to a press release from Alfa. So it’s kind of a compressed version of Netflix’s “Drive to Survive,” focusing specifically on Alfa.
Alfa Romeo at the 2022 Formula 1 Hungarian Grand Prix
The first episode, titled “Before We Hit the Ground”, is an introduction, explaining the structure of the team. The Alfa F1 team is actually the Swiss team Sauber, but it has used the Alfa brand since 2015, dropping Sauber from its official name in 2018. Part of this arrangement is a close relationship with Ferrari, which has seen Alfa field drivers associated with Ferrari and use Scuderia engines.
“They (Sauber) are leaders in engineering, aerodynamics and design. Sauber builds the car,” Alfa Romeo chief designer Alejandro Mesonaro says in the video. “But at the Centro Stile (the location of Alfa’s headquarters), we bring this legendary brand to life. We design a livery that meets and the heritage that embodies Alfa Romeo’s passion. Our style meets their engineering and the result is always beyond.”
The video details that 500 people work in a team and they are supported by a car brand. A new car is built every year and the process begins in the wind tunnel. The aero team works with race engineering and vehicle dynamics to get the most out of a car. The drivers use a simulator at the factory to learn car development aid and learn the circuits. The team is still developing the car, and if it stands still, it falls behind, says Axel Kruse, CEO of Sauber Technologies and COO of Sauber Motorsport.
Alfa’s deal with Sauber will end after the 2023 season, however. Alfa announced it just hours after Audi announced its intention to enter F1 in 2026, fueling speculation that the German manufacturer would join forces with the Swiss team.
Alfa has a long history in Grand Prix racing, dating back to the pre-war years before the current F1 championship existed. Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio won the first two F1 Drivers’ Championships at the wheel of Alfas, in 1950 and 1951, respectively. Alfa returned to F1 in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but with poor results.
The current Alfa Romeo F1 driver line-up consists of rookie Zhou Guanyu, the first Chinese driver in F1, and Valtteri Bottas, who left the Mercedes-AMG team after the 2021 season, making way for George Russell. The team currently sits sixth in the constructors’ standings with 51 points. Bottas is 10th in the driver standings with 46 points, while Zhou is 17th with five points.