Alfa Romeo to return to Formula 1 in 2018
After more than 30 years away from the sport, Alfa Romeo will return to Formula 1 in 2018 following an agreement with Sauber F1. Alfa and Sauber have entered into a multi-year partnership agreement covering strategic, commercial and technological cooperation with the new team to be known as the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.
Alfa Romeo today signed a multi-year technical and commercial partnership agreement with the Swiss Sauber F1 Team for participation in the Formula 1 championship, beginning in 2018.
The 2018 Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 cars will wear Alfa Romeo colors and will use 2018 Ferrari power units, a deal already inked between Sauber and Ferrari in July, 2017. The new deal with Ferrari (Fiat Chrysler owns both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo) will mean considerably greater competitiveness for the team as Sauber used year-old Ferrari power units in 2017 and scored just 5 championship points.
Alfa Romeo was once the most competitive marque on the F1 grid, and apart from the Indianapolis 500 (which was included in the Formula One Championship for its first 10 years but was rarely contested by the European teams), Alfa Romeo won the first nine races in Formula One history, taking the first two drivers and constructor titles.
Giuseppe "Nino" Farina (pictured above) won the inaugural championship in 1950, narrowly beating his teammate, Juan Manuel Fangio, with both drivers winning three races each.
Fangio won his first championship driving for Alfa Romeo in 1951, before going on to win five titles and become the greatest driver of all time.
"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," said Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne, who also acts as CEO of Alfa's parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
"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 of Sauber Holding AG, commented: "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."
Source: Alfa Romeo