After 30 years of absence and financial and marketing struggles, Alfa Romeo now owned by a bailed out Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) today signed a multiyear technical and commercial partnership agreement with Swiss Sauber F1 Team to run in the Formula 1 world championship beginning with the 2018 season.
The single-seat race cars will carry the colors and logo of Alfa Romeo with Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team the team’s Title Sponsor, and will be equipped – no surprise – with 2018 Ferrari engines, not Ram diesels.
The deal – financial terms not released – includes strategic, commercial and technological cooperation in “all applicable areas of development, including access to engineering expertise of Alfa Romeo technical staff.
The dominant champion of the pre-war Grand Prix – in 1925, the GP Tipo 2 ruled the first World Championship – Alfa Romeo took part in Formula One from 1950 until 1988, as both a constructor and engine supplier. In its debut years during 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.
“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,”said Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA.
Alfa Romeo is known around the world for its racing heritage and technological excellence. The undisputed champion of the pre-war Grand Prix (in 1925, the GP Tipo 2 dominated the first World Championship), Alfa Romeo participated in Formula 1 from 1950 to 1988, both as a constructor and engine supplier. Immediately upon its debut, Alfa Romeo won the first two drivers’ world championships, in 1950 and 1951, with drivers Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio as noted.
From 1961 to 1979, Alfa Romeo participated as engine supplier to several F1 teams. Following its return as a constructor in 1979, Alfa Romeo achieved its best result in 1983, taking sixth place in the constructors’ championship. More than 30 years after withdrawing as a competitor from Formula 1 (1985), the brand is returning with the clear intention to make its mark.
In 1970 Peter Sauber founded his company and designed his first racing car in the cellar of his parents’ house. The race team grew steadily and enjoyed its first major international successes in the late 1980s. As the Mercedes works team, Sauber celebrated a one-two victory in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1989 and back-to-back Drivers’ and Manufacturers’ titles in the World Sports Car Championship in 1989 and 1990. In 1993 Sauber entered Formula One. Among the team’s F1 highlights have been a fourth-place finish in the Constructors’ World Championship in 2001 as an independent team and – in partnership with BMW – a one-two finish in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix on the way to third place in the constructors’ standings that year.
In 2010 Sauber became an independent outfit once again and during 2012 the Sauber F1 Team, took four podium finishes, 126 World Championship points and sixth place in the constructors’ standings. The 11th October 2012 marked a milestone in the history of the team – the day when Sauber stepped down as Team Principal and passed leadership to Monisha Kaltenborn. Between 1993 and the end of 2016 the team contested 424 grand prix in Formula One.
In 2017 the Sauber F1 Team celebrates another milestone: it is the 25th Formula One season in the teams’ history with its new owner, Longbow Finance S. A. In 2017, Frédéric Vasseur was named as the new Managing Director and CEO of Sauber Motorsport AG, and Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team.
Sauber has its headquarters in Hinwil, in the Swiss canton of Zurich. The team’s state of the art factory houses manufacturing facilities and offices spanning an area of 15,600 square meters and claims one of the most advanced wind tunnels in F1.