Yan Lefort – Commercial Director of Sauber Motorsport is very happy with the commercial side of Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN having been able to maintain and extend the relationship between their partners despite the difficult financial situation that many companies have undergone throughout the pandemic. On top of this Alfa Romeo has managed to bring on new partners for the 2021 situation which reflects the optimism shown in the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN Project as a whole.
Lefort recognises that every single season in Formula 1 is a challenge, the regulations may not have changed drastically this year but with the current situation and the 2022 regulations looming on the horizons this season will still be a tricky one for all Formula 1 teams. However Lefort is very impressed with how the team has managed to cope in the current climate.
“Every new season is a challenge, but even more so this year : we are entering a new era for the sport, which makes this a very exciting moment, but at the same time we’re facing a very stressful situation due to the uncertainty provoked by the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite this, I am pleased to see how the team has faced this challenging time, still being able to maintain a strong relationship with our current partners and bringing new ones on board.”
Lefort continues that there is no team like Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN with the Swiss-based team having partners from all over the globe and being one of the few teams on the grid which are truly independent giving the Swiss-based team flexibility that brands tend to need.
“Simply put, there’s no team like us. We’re a Swiss team with co-title partners from Italy and Poland, so we can offer the best of all worlds. It’s the versatility and adaptability that makes us special. On top of this, we are one of the few remaining truly independent teams on the Formula One grid: this gives us the flexibility brands need when it comes to building activation programmes together with our partners.”
With there being no fans at most races in 2020, it was harder for Alfa Romeo to work with partners down to them not being able to attend races and various social distancing restrictions. Alfa Romeo have always maintained a close working relationship with their partners, so Alfa Romeo had to adapt to continue to deliver this service using various different programs that many of us have got used to over the past year such as : Skype and Zoom.
“2020 required us to react to the changing situation with agility and dynamism. Cancelling our initial plans when the season got suspended and then having to go racing in a “locked down” status meant we could not engage with our partners the way we did in the past, when we delivered a close, authentic experience for our guests. We wanted to maintain this same level of engagement, so we had to find tools we hadn’t used before. But for our partners, we had to come up with something new: we introduced virtual garage tours, virtual meet & greets and interviews, using tools such as Zoom, Skype and similar ones.”
In Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi, Lefort acknowledges that the team have a driver lineup like no other on the grid, having drivers who are some of the most recognised athletes in their respective countries. As well as being extremely talented, the drivers are part of a strong community spirit within the team which has lead to growth on Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN’s social media platforms.
“We are extremely lucky to have a line-up like no others in Formula One. We have three of the most recognisable athletes not only in their respective countries, but worldwide: with their mix of experience and youth, they complement each other and push one another towards strong results in motorsport’s most competitive category. Talent alone, however, is not enough: we have been able to create a strong family spirit within our team which makes us kind of unique. You can see this in the campaigns we have been running on social media and with our partners, in which this spirit drives very strong numbers in terms of engagement and growth.”
Fans of all three drivers and Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN will not have to wait long to see the new livery of the C41 out on track when the team take their filming day at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on the 26th of February. Fans will also have the opportunity to see the car running for an extensive period of time at the pre-season test held this year at the Bahrain International circuit which precedes the season opening Grand Prix at the same circuit on the 28th of March.