Alfa Romeo Returning to F1 Next Year
Alfa Romeo is legitimately returning to the Formula 1 paddock for the first time since 1985.
The Italian marque just announced a multi-year technical and commercial partnership with Switzerland’s Sauber F1 Team in a deal that will see the team renamed Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 in 2018. The car will wear Alfa branding and use 2018-spec Ferrari engines.
For more than 12 months Ferrari chairman and FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne has been vocal about his desire for a Scuderia junior squad, which would not only nourish young Italian drivers but also share technology and costs with the senior team.
“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 in a statement.
“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.”
It’s a little ironic to think of the Alfa F1 effort as a Ferrari junior team considering Enzo Ferrari got his start running Alfa Romeo’s racing program, but that’s what you get when you stop racing for more than 30 years.
“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,” added Pascal Picci, Chairman of Sauber Holding AG.
Drivers have yet to be announced but it’s believed Ferrari junior drivers Charles Leclerc, fresh off his F2 championship and current reserve driver Antonio Giovinazzi are the leading candidates.
Discuss this article on our Alfa Romeo Forum