Alfa Romeo returns to F1 with Sauber

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Sauber announced today that it will be entering into a multi-year deal with Alfa Romeo as their partner. No big mystery here that Ferrari and Alfa are part of the Fiat empire and it makes good sense to make best use of their relationship with Sauber to promote the Alfa Romeo brand who has a long and rich history in the sport of Formula 1.

It’s a great move for the brand and even though it may be a Ferrari lump, the Alfa Name will add some historic prestige and maybe even some Alfa fans back into the sport. Who knows?

As long as the keep the Sauber name associated with it, I think it is a great tie-in for the brand. Now let’s see if Aston comes in with Red Bull and Toro Rosso has Honda. It’s all good.

Here’s the official release:

We are delighted to announce that we have reached a multi-year technical and commercial partnership agreement 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.

Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles:
“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.”

Pascal Picci, Chairman, Sauber Holding AG:
“We are very pleased to welcome Alfa Romeo to the Sauber F1 Team. 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.”

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Andreas

I thought they were going to do an engine rebadging thing, but a title sponsor deal is a different thing. So Alfa Romeo Sauber – Ferrari it is, then – quite the mouthful…

Of course, they may well include the engine rebadging in the deal, in which case it’d technically be Alfa Romeo Sauber – Alfa Romeo. Not sure that’s better :-)

jakobusvdl

Alf-auber?

maserati123

AlfaSuber. I don’t care,I love Alfa and FCA

Salvu Borg

Alfa Romeo and Aston Martin, two famous names in motor sports, At some point both names were pushed forward as regards the possibility of returning to the F1 grid. When the Alfa Romeo name was first pushed out I understood that it would be a rebadged FERRARI engine, possibly a FERRARI powertrain, and I never doubted that at some point that will happen because there was solid substance behind the push. When the Aston Martin name was first pushed out it was a bit different, both sponsorship and as an engine supplier was talked about, and I had my doubts,… Read more »

Salvu Borg

And please, re the above source of the full text of Mario Illien’s discourse to auto motor und sport, do not bother to trace and read the extracts from here and there of what he said as picked up and reported by the usual well known sites, who picked up extracts of what he said according to their inclinations.

FryDaddy

Not too pick nits… I’m petty sure that AM make their own engines. Bespoke.

jakobusvdl

Haven’t they just started using Mercedes AMG V8 engines in the new DB11, along side V12’s based on the double Mondeo V12?
Not a hybrid V6 in sight.

Salvu Borg

FRY, Its OK and no problem, Lets forget about what engine/s they use in their road going models.
Andy Palmer of Aston Martin seem to have had a sudden rush of blood to his head after his company managed to just break even, this was aided in no small way by the spiceman ticklish.

jakobusvdl

Does this announcement come with free rose tinted glasses? A huge amount of brand reshaping will be necessary as apart from the late 1940’s and first two years of the 50’s Alfa Romeo haven’t enjoyed much success in GP racing. Its a neat way to get best bang for the brand buck with Ferrari’s technical and financial support for Sauber but its a big call to infer that Alfa’s reputation as a marque has any recent F1 tie in. I did also note that as soon as Ferrari slapped Alfa Romeo stickers on their engine covers, reliability became an issue.… Read more »

Salvu Borg

Looks like FERRARI have decided to go on the same path of red bull and start producing their own valve cover plastic stickers, but with a big difference, unlike red bull they will be sticking their valve cover plastic stickers of one of their own products onto another one of their own products.

jakobusvdl

I wonder why they picked Alfa Romeo, rather than Maserati – they have more of a GP heritage, and already run Ferrari engines (with different cam covers).

Salvu Borg

Few names carry as big a heritage in the automotive world as that of Alfa Romeo and Maserati let alone of those that are still around.
FCA hasn’t been as aggressive with expansion plans for Maserati as it has been for Alfa.

jakobusvdl

Oddly, here in NZ, Maserati are booming, growing faster than Alfa. Probably higher actual sales too – though until recently the only Alfa model available was the Guilietta.

maserati123

I think Alfa has the capability to sell more cars,and that would still help Maserati which is(FCA) All around it’s a win win for FCA. I wish them well.

jakobusvdl

Marchionne is spoiled for choice, Alfa, Maserati, Fiat, Dodge and Chrysler all have strong motorsport pedigree.

maserati123

Simply Awesome. I wish Alfa all the best