Sauber team up with Alfa Romeo for F1 2018
Alfa Romeo will return to Formula One for the first time in 30 years after reaching a multi-year agreement with Sauber, which could also have implications on their relationship with Ferrari.
The Swiss team, which has struggled financially for a number of years, will be rebranded as Alfa Romeo Sauber from 2018 after a technical and commercial partnership was agreed last week. The Italian manufacturer will have their logo carried on the car, although it will still be powered by year-old Ferrari engines. Sauber also struggled with results in 2017, finishing last in the Constructors’ Championship, with all five points coming from Pascal Wehrlein — who is not guaranteed a seat next season with Sauber still yet to confirm their driver lineup. However, the arrival of the Alfa Romeo partnership could see them strengthen their ties with Ferrari, with both of the Italian marques coming under the Fiat umbrella.
Ferrari have supplied Sauber with engines since 1997, barring a few years when they turned to BMW, and that relationship will continue next year. Ferrari, whose main sponsor Santander pulled out of both their eight-year team sponsorship as well as their grand prix title and trackside branding for the last 11 years, have been vocal in their threat to pull out of F1 themselves if the proposed 2021 engine regulations aren’t altered to favour their approach to the sport.