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Alfa Romeo sporting director explains how F1 is impacted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Valtteri Bottas driving the Alfa Romeo C42 during the 2022 F1 Imola GP weekend. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Valtteri Bottas driving the Alfa Romeo C42 during the 2022 F1 Imola GP weekend. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Alfa Romeo's sporting director Beat Zehnder opened up about the multi-faceted impact Russia's ongoing conflict with Ukraine has had on F1 as a whole.

With the sport already implementing a strict cost cap on all operations, teams have had to be careful about their expenditure in a long and drawn-out season.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict has had a chain reaction, from flights to sea freighters, both key components in handling the logistics for the sport's traveling circus.

In an interview carried by motorsport.com's German affiliate, Zehnder explained the impact of the conflict. He said:

"One problem is certainly the war in Russia, because 35 percent of the cargo planes come from Russia and they're not allowed to fly now. One is sea freight. The demand is so huge that the ships are not enough anymore and very much is shifted to air freight. And ocean freight is not without its problems either, because the ships are getting bigger and bigger."

The Alfa Romeo director went on to add:

"Today we have container ships with 28,000 containers and it takes five days to load and unload them, which used to be a day and a half. And all the 'lead times' just take longer. We used to figure door to door at 45 days. Today it's 75 days. And five sea freight sets are simply no longer enough and we are now procuring a sixth," the team manager reveals further. "That's a lot of money, it's not in the budget cap because that's an investment. But freight prices have gone up massively. Air freight we pay 160 percent more here than in 2020."

In light of the current geopolitical circumstances prevalent in the world as a result of the conflict, Zehnder feels F1 should rethink the $140 million cost cap. Allowances in certain areas could go a long way in alleviating the pressure teams are presently facing.


Porsche and Audi's F1 entry for 2026 season confirmed by Herbert Diess

Porsche and Audi are all set to join the F1 grid in 2026, according to Herbert Diess, the CEO of the Volkswagen group.

The two manufacturers have been in discussions to enter the sport for a long time, with incessant speculation around the matter. However, the wait for the official confirmation will continue till the 2022 F1 Austrian GP.

🚨 Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess says Porsche and Audi have decided to enter #F1 in 2026. 🚨the-race.com/formula-1/pors…

According to reports, Porsche are set to partner up with Red Bull for their return to the sport. Reports also suggest that Audi is considering a possible tie-up with one of Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo or Williams after their plans to acquire McLaren fell through.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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