Sauber have finally announced the public secret of its partnership with Alfa Romeo. The Italian car manufacturer, which is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), will be joining the Sauber F1 Team as Title Sponsor from 2018 onwards. By doing so, Alfa Romeo is returning to Formula One after more than 30 years of absence from the sport.
The partnership, which includes a strategic, commercial and technological cooperation between Alfa Romeo and the Sauber F1 Team, will enable the exchange of engineering and technical know-how, and provide new opportunities for the two organizations within Formula One and beyond. From 2018, the team will be known as the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. The 2018 F1 car will bear the Alfa Romeo logo, and will be equipped with the 2018 Ferrari power units.
The CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, which owns the Alfa Romeo brand is pleased to secure this deal, after several years of rumours regarding the brand's return to Formula One.
“This agreement with the Sauber F1 Team is a significant step in the reshaping of the Alfa Romeo brand, which will return to Formula 1 after an absence of more than 30 years. A storied marque that has helped make the history of this sport, Alfa Romeo will join other major automakers that participate in Formula 1. The brand itself will also benefit from the sharing of technology and strategic know-how with a partner of the Sauber F1 Team’s undisputed experience.
"The Alfa Romeo engineers and technicians, who have already demonstrated their capabilities with the newly-launched models, Giulia and Stelvio, will have the opportunity to make that experience available to the Sauber F1 Team. At the same time, Alfa Romeo fans will once again have the opportunity to support an automaker that is determined to begin writing an exciting new chapter in its unique, legendary sporting history.”
“We are very pleased to welcome Alfa Romeo to the Sauber F1 Team, commented Pascal Picci, Chairman of Sauber Holding AG.
"Alfa Romeo has a long history of success in Grand Prix racing, and we are very proud that this internationally renowned company has chosen to work with us for its return to the pinnacle of motorsport. Working closely with a car manufacturer is a great opportunity for the Sauber Group to further develop its technology and engineering projects. We are confident that together we can bring the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team great success, and look forward to a long and successful partnership.”
Alfa Romeo took part in Formula One from 1950 until 1988, as both a constructor and engine supplier. Already in its debut years in 1950 and in 1951, Alfa Romeo won the inaugural World Championship of Drivers with Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio. From 1961 until 1979, Alfa Romeo participated as engine supplier for several F1 teams.
After returning in 1979 as constructor, Alfa Romeo ranked 6th as best result in the constructors’ championship in 1983. The company withdrew from Formula One in 1985, returning as Title Sponsor of the Sauber F1 Team after a 30-year absence.