The Italian lawyer thrust into the harsh F1 spotlight

Alessandro Alunni Bravi is an Italian lawyer now in the F1 spotlight with Alfa Romeo

Alessandro Alunni Bravi is an Italian lawyer now in the F1 spotlight with Alfa Romeo

“I don’t want to be the element that creates a problem on the pit wall. I am not this kind of man.”

They are, by his own admission, the “rational” words of Alessandro Alunni Bravi who has taken on the alternative position of team representative, rather than team principal, with Alfa Romeo this year.

A civil contract lawyer by trade, Alunni Bravi has found himself thrust into the harsh glare of Formula 1’s spotlight.

At first glance, the 48-year-old Italian appears an unusual choice to become the front-facing figure of the team.

Alunni Bravi, though, is no stranger to the world of motorsport as he was previously team principal and managing director of the Trident GP2 squad for three years in the mid-noughties.

Admittedly, the majority of his roles since then have seen him serve as general counsel to a number of companies, including ART Grand Prix, a position he has retained to this day.

After adding the Sauber Group to his general counsel duties in 2017, Alunni Bravi was then appointed managing director of the company a year ago.

Following the appointment of former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl as CEO at the end of last year, the German opted to install a flat triumvirate structure for those beneath him, rather than having a figurehead.

Alongside Alunni Bravi, there is also sporting director Beat Zehnder and Xexi Pujolar, the head of trackside engineering.

Alunni Bravi recognises that despite his different job title, he bears “a big responsibility”.

“I don’t think it is unusual,” said Alunni Bravi, speaking to Speedcafe. “This is coherent with the vision of our project. We have identified all the areas where we need to improve.

“Now Formula 1 is extremely complex, so there are a lot of tasks and functions that need to be fulfilled, including during the race weekend.

“We wanted to divide the tasks at hand between myself, as a spokesperson, as representative of the team, liaising with the FIA, the commercial rights holder and the media, along with Xevi and Beat.

“We wanted to have a clear organisation, a team working together trackside, to deliver better performance on what we think is the best structure, in accordance with the profiles within our company, and also performing the tasks we need on and off track.

“We have an important project, and it’s difficult, in the world of Formula 1, to have an individual covering all functions.

“It’s not about the title, it’s about the project that we have and the development of this project, so I’m one of the people working trackside – I don’t think I’m the most important – and I’m required to give a contribution to the performance of the team.”

Alunni Bravi not just a puppet figure

Alfa Romeo team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi on the pit wall with technical director Jan Monchaux

Alunni Bravi on the pit wall with technical director Jan Monchaux

Despite taking a place on the pit wall, Alunni Bravi, however, will simply observe rather than play a role in any strategic or technical decisions that are continually required across a grand prix weekend.

“I have the privilege of working with two very experienced people in Xexi and Beat,” added Alunni Bravi. “I will not interfere in the technical or sporting decisions.

“Instead, based on teamwork, we will all discuss together and I will be there to support but there will not be a leader. It will be teamwork.

“And yes, I’ll be on the pit wall and I’ll take part in the technical meetings. Part of my role is to understand everything.”

There has been speculation Alunni Bravi will serve as a figurehead for this season only before the current structure is again redefined once Alfa Romeo departs at the end of the year and Audi starts to take more of a hands-on role of the team ahead of their entry into F1 in 2026.

Alunni Bravi, however, is adamant he is not just a puppet figure for now.

“My role is not just for this year,” he stated. “I’ve been appointed as the team representative for the 2023 season onwards so it’s not linked to Alfa Romeo.

“Alfa Romeo is a very important partner for us, both on and off track. We have created a very successful commercial and technical partnership with Alfa Romeo, a new type of business model in Formula 1.

“I’m very proud to represent Alfa Romeo within motorsport, and we want to complete our journey together, to do our very best, and to maximise our successful relationship to its fullest.

“But, of course, as a team, we have a strong heritage as Sauber Motorsport. We are one of the four teams in the top-500 club having started more than 30 years ago in Formula 1.

“We have a long-term project, a bright future, and I’m happy that Andreas and the shareholders want me to be part of this project for the longer term.”

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