Italy Alfa Romeo
Alfa Logo.png
Full Name Alfa Romeo SpA (1950-51)
Autodelta (1979)
Marlboro Team Alfa Romeo (1980-83)
Benetton Team Alfa Romeo (1984-85)
Base Milan, Italy
Founder(s) Italy Nicola Romeo France Alexandre Darracq
Noted Staff Italy Vittorio Jano
Italy Gioacchino Colombo
Italy Carlo Chiti
Noted Drivers Italy Tazio Nuvolari
Italy Giuseppe Farina
Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio
Formula One World Championship
Years Active 1950-1951, 1979-1985
Debut 1950 British Grand Prix
Races Competed 110
Constructors' Championships 0
Drivers' Championships 2 (1950, 1951)
Wins 10
Poles 12
Fastest Laps 14
Final race 1985 Australian Grand Prix

Alfa Romeo was a Grand Prix racing team that competed in Formula One from 1950 to 1951 and again in 1979 to 1985. Alfa Romeo won the first Automobile World Championship in the history of automobile racing, and their drivers won the first two European Championships. The team later won the Drivers' Championship twice with Giuseppe Farina in 1950 and Juan Manuel Fangio in 1951.

History[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

Alfa Romeo had been competitive in Grand Prix racing both before and after The Second World War. Shortly after A.L.F.A was founded the company began motor racing. They competed in the 1911 Targo Florio with two 24 HP models. Alfa's first succes came in 1913 when Nino Franchini finished second in the Parma-Poggio Berceto race in a 40-60HP.

In 1923 designer Vittorio Jano joined Alfa from Fiat and designed cars that led to success into the late 1930's. Jano was sacked when they began loosing.

World Manufacturers' Championship[edit | edit source]

In 1925 Alfa Romeo won the first Automobile World Championship in the history of automobile racing. Over 4 rounds the Alfa Romeo P2; designed by Jano, won the European Grand Prix at Spa and the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, and hence incorporated the laurel wreath in their logo.

European Championship[edit | edit source]

See also: Scuderia Ferrari

The 1931 season saw the intorduction of the AIACR European Drivers' Championship. Despite not winning a single championship race Alfa driver Ferdinando Minoia was crowned the first European champion. Fellow Alfa drivers Tazio Nuvolari and Giuseppe Campari shared a victory at the first championship event in Italy. Alfa Romeo cars also won a further 6 non-championship Grands Prix. For 1932 Jano produced the P3 which won its first race driven by Nuvolari at the Italian Grand Prix. The P3 entered 5 more Grands Prix that year which were shared by Nuvolari and Rudolf Caracciola. Nuvolari secured the team's second European Drivers' Championship with two wins, while Caracciola won the third and final race of the championship.

The Alfa Corse factory team closed for 1933 and they locked the cars in the factory. Eventually they were transferred to Enzo Ferrari's now privatised 'factory' team Scuderia Ferrari. P3s then won six of the final 11 events of the season including the final 2 major Grands Prix in Italy and Spain. In 1934 Louis Chiron won the French Grand Prix in the P3 whilst the German Silver Arrows dominated the other 4 championship events. However the P3s won 18 of the 35 Grands Prix held throughout Europe. 1935 was even tougher, the P3 was simply outclassed by the remorseless Silver Arrows, but Tazio Nuvolari gave it one of the most legendary victories of all time by winning the 1935 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. In total the P3 managed 16 victories during 1935.

For 1936 the Alfa Romeo 12C was introduced. The car suffered poor handling and as a result Vittorio Jano resigned from the team at the end of the year. In 1938 Alfa Romeo decided to return to racing. They made Enzo the new Direttore Sportivo of Alfa Corse, after buying the shares of the Scuderia Ferrari in 1937 and transferring, from January 1, 1938, the official racing activity to Alfa Corse. Three new cars were designed for the new season, the 308, 312 and 316. However they were not a great success. Instead, the new car for the 1500 cc class, the 158 voiturette, designed in 1937 and first raced at the Coppa Ciano in August 1938, proved much more successful.

Post war[edit | edit source]

After the war and with the absence of the German marques such as Mercedes, Alfa dominated Grand Prix racing with their 158 car that they continued to develop, their main competition coming from Maserati.

Formula One[edit | edit source]

1950[edit | edit source]

Farina won the opening race in Britain while Fagioli and Reg Parnell finished second and third. Fangio retired with engine trouble. At the next race in Monaco Farina trigged a nine car pile up at the flooded Tabac corner while Fangio, who had got a better start and missed the carnage, went onto win the race. Farina and fangio headed to Switzerland joint first in the Championship. Farina and Fagioli scored a one-two while once again Fangio suffered an engine failure.

At Spa for the Belgian Grand Prix Fangio fought back to win his second race of the year ahead of Fagioli. Farina sturggled but managed to secure a fourth place which would be important in the championship battle. After making an amazing start at the French Grand Prix Farina retired gifting victory to Fangio ahead of Fagioli. The championship would go down to the final race, all three of the Alfa drivers having a chance to win it.

At Monza Fagioli was the least likely to secure the crown; he had a series of second places and the points system did not favour him. For Farina to win the championship he had to finish first and Fangio had to finish third or lower. Farina took the lead follwed by Ascari, but Fangio was driving perfectly doing just enough for him to secure the championship when on lap 22 he suffered a gearbox problem. He took over the car of Tarufii and began to race again but on lap 35 had to retire again gifting Farina the championship.

In non-championship races Fangio took a further four wins and two seconds from eight starts.

1951[edit | edit source]

In 1951 Alfa continued their dominance with Juan Manuel Fangio winning the championship while driving the new Alfetta 159 (an evolution of the 158 with a two-stage compressor). The Alfetta's engines were extremely powerful for their capacity: the new 159 engine was producing around 420 bhp (310 kW), but this was at the price of a fuel consumption of 125 to 175 litres per 100 km (1 mpg–U.S. / 2 mpg–imp). The rival Ferraris were able to capitalize on this inefficiency, particularly at Silverstone. Although the Alfas won four races, three for Fangio and a single win for Farina, Ferrari's three victories spelled the end of their dominance.

In 1952 Alfa Romeo, a state-owned company, decided to withdraw after a refusal of the Italian government to fund the expensive design of a new car to compete against the Ferrari team. Surprisingly, Alfa Romeo's involvement in Formula One was made with a very thin budget, using mostly pre-war technology and material during their two dominant seasons, such as using only nine pre-war built engine blocks.

1977 - 1979[edit | edit source]

Between 1951 and 1977 Alfa Romeo only participated as an engine supplier to teams such as Brabham. This second Alfa works Formula One project was never truly successful during its existence from the middle of 1979 until the end of 1985.

During 1977, and after some persuasion by Chiti, Alfa Romeo gave Autodelta permission to start developing a Formula One car on their behalf. Thus named the Alfa Romeo 177, the car made its debut at the 1979 Belgian Grand Prix. The engine partnership with Brabham had finished before the end of the season.

1980 - 1982[edit | edit source]

During this period Alfa Romeo achieved two pole positions, Bruno Giacomelli led much of the 1980 United States Grand Prix before retiring with electrical trouble, three 3rd places, two 2nd places and one fastest lap. They also

Andrea de Cesaris driving for Alfa Romeo in 1982

endured tragedy when their driver Patrick Depailler was killed testing for the 1980 German Grand Prix at the Hockenheimring.

In 1981 they had the services of Mario Andretti, but continued to be dogged by poor reliability. After a restructuring of Autodelta, the team operations and design of the car were outsourced to Euroracing in 1982, with the works engines still being supplied by Autodelta.

1983 - 1985[edit | edit source]

The team's best season was 1983 when the team switched to the turbocharged 890T V8 engine and achieved 6th place in the constructors' championship, largely thanks to two second place finishes for Andrea de Cesaris.

While the turbocharged 890T proved competitive in 1983, the more powerful and fuel efficient engines from BMW, Ferrari, Renault, TAG-Porsche and Honda, plus the FIA imposed 220 litre fuel limit with no re-fueling allowed during pit stops during 1984, saw the decline of the Euroracing Alfa Romeo team as a competitive force in Grand Prix racing. Riccardo Patrese's third place finish at the 1984 Italian Grand Prix being the last podium finish for the team, with both Patrese and Eddie Cheever often failing to finish races throughout 1984 and 1985 due to running out of fuel.

Alfa Romeo pulled out of Formula One as a constructor following the final race of the 1985 season in Australia.

Complete Formula One World Championship results[edit | edit source]

See also: Alfa Romeo Grand Prix results

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Chassis Engine(s) Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Points WCC
1950 Alfa Romeo 158 Alfa Romeo S8 (s/c) P GBR MON 500 SUI BEL FRA ITA n/a n/a[a]
Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Ret 1 Ret 1 1 Ret


Italy Nino Farina 1 Ret 1 4 7 1
Italy Luigi Fagioli 2 Ret 2 2 2 3
United Kingdom Reg Parnell 3
Italy Piero Taruffi Ret[b]
Italy Consalvo Sanesi Ret
1951 Alfa Romeo 159 Alfa Romeo S8 (s/c) P SUI 500 BEL FRA GBR GER ITA ESP n/a n/a[a]
Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 1 9 1


2 2 Ret 1
Italy Nino Farina 3 1 5 Ret Ret 3


Italy Luigi Fagioli 1[b]
Italy Felice Bonetto 4 Ret 3[b] 5
Switzerland Toulo de Graffenried 5 Ret 6
Italy Consalvo Sanesi 4 Ret 10 6
Germany Paul Pietsch Ret
19521978: Alfa Romeo does not compete as a team.
1979 Alfa Romeo 177
Alfa Romeo 179
Alfa Romeo F12
Alfa Romeo V12
Italy Bruno Giacomelli Ret 17 Ret Ret
Italy Vittorio Brambilla 12 Ret DNQ
1980 Alfa Romeo 179 Alfa Romeo V12 G ARG BRA RSA USW BEL MON FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN USA 4 11th
Italy Bruno Giacomelli 5 13 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
France Patrick Depailler Ret Ret NC Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret
Italy Vittorio Brambilla Ret Ret
Italy Andrea de Cesaris Ret Ret
1981 Alfa Romeo 179 Alfa Romeo V12 M USW BRA ARG SMR BEL MON ESP FRA GBR GER AUT NED ITA CAN CPL 10 9th
Italy Bruno Giacomelli Ret NC 10 Ret 9 Ret 10 15 Ret 15 Ret Ret 8 4 3
United States Mario Andretti 4 Ret 8 Ret 10 Ret 8 8 Ret 9 Ret Ret Ret 7 Ret
1982 Alfa Romeo 179
Alfa Romeo 182
Italy Bruno Giacomelli 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 7 9 5 Ret 12 Ret 10
Italy Andrea de Cesaris 13 Ret Ret Ret Ret 3 Ret 6 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 10 9
1983 Alfa Romeo 183T Alfa Romeo V8 (t/c) M BRA USW FRA SMR MON BEL DET CAN GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR RSA 18 6th
Italy Andrea de Cesaris DNQ Ret 12 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 8 2 Ret Ret Ret 4 2
Italy Mauro Baldi Ret Ret Ret Ret 6 Ret 12 10 7 Ret Ret 5 Ret Ret Ret
1984 Alfa Romeo 184T Alfa Romeo V8 (t/c) G BRA RSA BEL SMR FRA MON CAN DET DAL GBR GER AUT NED ITA EUR POR 11 8th
Italy Riccardo Patrese Ret 4 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 12 Ret 10 Ret 3 6 8
United States Eddie Cheever 4 Ret Ret 7 Ret DNQ 11 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 13 9 Ret 17
1985 Alfa Romeo 185T
Alfa Romeo 184TB
Italy Riccardo Patrese Ret Ret Ret Ret 10 Ret 11 9 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 9 Ret Ret
United States Eddie Cheever Ret Ret Ret Ret 17 9 10 Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret Ret 11 Ret Ret

[a] ^ The Constructors Championship was not awarded until 1958.

[b] ^ Indicates a shared drive.

References[edit | edit source]

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