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In the first years of Alfa Romeo's takeover of Sauber F1, the Italian-Swiss combination struggled to establish itself as a competitive midfield team, consistently finding itself at the back of the grid.

However, the 2022 season has been extremely successful for the Swiss squad. After acquiring 51 points in eleven rounds, Alfa Romeo finds themselves 6th in the constructors and on course for their best season since returning to the sport.

When asked about the reported interest from Audi, Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato spoke about the brand's position with motorsport.com:

"We will not change the business model of Alfa Romeo. If one day somebody takes a leap, whatever the leap, on anything, we will take the decision we have to make, but that's it. 

ZHOU PRE

"Really, it's no stress. I have so many spaces to play. When you are a brand like Alfa Romeo, we have existed for 112 years, the world is open for us. 

"We are leaving a positive story in terms of a business. 2021 was profitable for Alfa Romeo for the first time in years. So really, there is no stress. 

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"I'm absolutely not scared, frightened, or even I would say concerned by any of the discussions that I've heard are animating the paddock."

Zhou Guanyu's performances for the team have been very respectable, albeit a few steps behind the more experienced teammate Valtteri Bottas. 

The youngster has proven that his on-track ability can complement the commercial value he offers Alfa Romeo within F1 and beyond. 

After all, Zhou's contract announcement was spoiled by the leak of an Alfa Romeo dealership in China, demonstrating the numerous qualities he offers. 

Audi's involvement in F1 - alongside Porsche's - is generally described as inevitable, but it seems their entry into the sport will be more difficult than anticipated. 

There are certainly alternative options for Audi, but it remains to be seen how desirable they are. 

After all, Audi's involvement in F1 can only be successful if they compete at the front.

Volkswagen's higher-ups are unlikely to endorse Audi's entry into the sport if they spend their time being bettered by German rivals Mercedes.