History of Alfa Romeo Racing

December 28th, 2018 by

Alfa Romeo Racing History

In modern day, we know Alfa Romeo to be a luxury automotive manufacturer.

At its start in 1910, the company’s immediate focus was on automobile racing.

After a mere four years, Alfa Romeo was anxious to make a name for itself in international racing.

Giuseppe Merosi was given the task of designing a competitive sports car; the result was the Alfa Grand Prix. This was the first automobile that featured a twin-spark ignition and a 4.5-liter engine helped it reach a top speed of 87 mph.

Alfa Romeo’s First F1 World Sports Car Championship

The first international auto racing victory for Alfa Romeo came during the 1923 Targa Florio open road endurance automobile race, which was dominated by Ugo Sivocci. During this race, Sivocci’s RL had been adorned with the Quadrifoglio, Italian for “four-leaf clover.”

At the time of Sivocci’s death, the Quadrifoglio was not a permanent feature on the Alfa Romeo P1 race car. It is now used as a symbolic nod to the rich racing history on sportier trim levels of the vehicles —including the Stelvio and the Giulia. It can also be found on the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 cars.

Post-War Racing

Post World War II, Alfa Romeo was inaugurated at the 1950 Formula 1 World Championship.

During this time, Alfa Romeo saw 11 race victories under Giuseppe “Nino” Farina. Throughout this time, Farina drove the Alfetta 158, a stunning single-seater. Farina beat his Alfa Romeo teammate, Manuel Fangio, to win Alfa Romeo’s first F1 World Championship in Silverstone, England.
red 1950 Alfa Romeo 159 single-seat race car found in museum

The success of the Alfetta 158 led to the creation of the 159 and, while the style changed, and enhancements were made, the racing soul remained the same.

The 159 was given a more powerful engine than the Alfetta 158 as well as the De Dion suspension, which was ideal for road handling. Driven by Manuel Fangio in 1951, the 159 won the second F1 World Championship,, this time at the French Grand Prix.

While their success continued in international races, the primary focus was manufacturing beloved vehicles like the Giulietta.

Alfa Romeo Returns to F1 Racing

The official auto racing return happened in 1963 with Carlo Chiti’s Autodelta team. Chiti was committed to furthering Alfa Romeo’s image and racing reputation.

In 1972, the GTA Junior was the successor to the GTA 1600. Throughout the year, it was victorious in every competition and secured the European Touring Care Challenge. The GTA Junior outranked the competition, even the vehicles that were created to be more powerful.

The string of successful races led Alfa Romeo to the 1976 Formula 1 with the Brabham™ engine. A single-piece 12-cylinder 3000 cc boxer engine with a Spic fuel injection proved to be a power engine.

In 2017, Sauber announced a partnership with Alfa Romeo. The official racing team has since been known as the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

While the vehicle boasts the Alfa Romeo logo and the Quadrifoglio, it is equipped with 2018-spec a Ferrari engine.

This partnership created an opportunity to reshape the Alfa Romeo racing brand and give fans the opportunity to cheer and support the automaker in a new chapter.

Whether it’s on the track or on the road, Alfa Romeo has proven its ability to be victorious over the competition.