Alfa Romeo, the Italian brand owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), this week signed a multi-year technical and commercial partnership agreement with Swiss Sauber F1 Team for participation in the Formula 1 world championship beginning with the 2018 season. The single-seaters will sport the distinctive colours 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 expertise of Alfa Romeo technical staff. This partnership will provide additional opportunities for the two organisations in both Formula 1 and the automotive sector in general,” the company said in a statement. The official name will be Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FCA, said: “This agreement with the Sauber F1 Team is a significant step in reshaping of the Alfa Romeo brand, which will return to Formula 1 after an absence of more than 30 years.
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.” He added that 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,” Marchionne said.
Pascal Picci, chairman of Sauber Holding, added: “We are pleased to welcome Alfa Romeo to Sauber F1 Team. Working closely with a car manufacturer is a great opportunity for the Sauber Group to further develop its technology and engineering projects.” 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 fan base. Alfa Romeo participated in Formula 1 from 1950 to 1988.