(AUBURN HILLS, MI) – Alfa Romeo, the prestigious Italian brand owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, has signed a multiyear technical and commercial partnership agreement with Swiss Sauber F1 Team for participation in the Formula 1 world championship beginning with the 2018 season.
“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 Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA. “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 single-seaters will sport the distinctive colors and logo of Alfa Romeo, the team’s title sponsor, and will be equipped with 2018 Ferrari power units. The scope of the agreement includes strategic, commercial and technological cooperation in all applicable areas of development, including access to engineering know-how and the expertise of Alfa Romeo technical staff.
“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,” Marchionne said. “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.”
The partnership will provide additional opportunities for the two organizations in both Formula 1 and the automotive sector in general.
The official name will be Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.
“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 Marchionne.
The return of Alfa Romeo, one of the major protagonists in Formula 1 history, is expected to contribute significantly to the appeal and future development of the sport. Alfa Romeo brings with it technological know-how and a large and passionate fan base, while participation in the championship also offers benefits for the brand in areas such as technology transfer and road safety.
“We are very pleased to welcome Alfa Romeo to the Sauber F1 Team,” said Pascal Picci, the 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.”
Alfa Romeo is known around the world for its racing heritage and technological excellence. The undisputed champion of the pre-war Grand Prix, 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.
From 1961 to 1979, Alfa Romeo participated as an 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 in 1985, the brand is returning with the clear intention to make its mark.
“Working closely with a car manufacturer is a great opportunity for the Sauber Group to further develop its technology and engineering projects,” said Picci. “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.”