There will be a new name on the Formula 1 grid as Swiss constructors’ Sauber form an even stronger partnership with their title sponsors Alfa Romeo rebranding to Alfa Romeo Racing for the 2019 season.
The new team name revives the old entry which won the first two Formula One Constructors Championships in 1950 and 1951. It will also be the first time since 1992 there has been no Sauber name on the grid who have had a prosperous run in Formula 1 over the past 26 seasons.
The Swiss constructors have successfully scored a championship point every year since their debut excluding a problematic year in 2014 with the new regulated Ferrari hybrid power unit. They boasted a season-high finish of 2nd in the Constructors Championship in 2007 followed by their only Grand Prix victory by Robert Kubica at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
Thirty-four drivers have suited up in the Sauber outfit along the years including big-name drivers Felipe Massa, Jean Alesi, Jacques Villeneuve, Giancarlo Fisichella plus Finns Kimi Räikkönen and Mika Salo.
New name, same game! ⚡ We're excited to announce Sauber and Alfa Romeo to keep fighting for ambitious results in 2019 @F1 World Championship as Alfa Romeo Racing. 🤝 + info: https://t.co/1RUddkPMpj #AlfaRomeoRacing #SauberMotorsport #Bwoah pic.twitter.com/0gzgwgpl66
— Alfa Romeo Racing (@SauberF1Team) February 1, 2019
While the Sauber name will be missing, the newly branded team will continue to be owned and managed under Sauber, separate to Alfa Romeo, from their Zurich Headquarters. The relationship also increases Alfa’s parent company – Fiat Group – and Ferrari’s involvement in the sport.
“It is a pleasure to announce that we will enter the 2019 Formula One World Championship with the Team name Alfa Romeo Racing,” said Team Principal, Frédéric Vasseur.
“After initiating the collaboration with our title sponsor Alfa Romeo in 2018, our team made fantastic progress on the technical, commercial and sporting side. This has given a boost of motivation to each team member, be that track-side or at the headquarter in Switzerland, as the hard work invested has become reflected in our results.
“We aim to continue developing every sector of our team while allowing our passion for racing, technology and design to drive us forward.”
The team will field two new drivers in 2019. 2007 World Champion Kimi Räikkönen joins the team alongside Ferrari Test and Development Driver Antonio Giovinazzi.
Images via Alfa Romeo Racing