The Alfa Romeo name will remain in Formula 1 for the foreseeable future, with the Italian brand signing a new multi-year agreement with Sauber Motorsport. The renewed partnership will include yearly assessments as well as ambitious objectives for “progressive improvement year on year,” the automaker said.
With F1 set to undergo significant regulation changes in 2022, the racing team believes it can make a “substantial step forward,” given their “lean and agile” setup and that they have operated underneath the budget cap introduced in 2021.
“As an historic Italian automotive brand, Alfa Romeo was born on the racetrack. Today we are proud to continue honoring that racing DNA by placing it at heart of the future of our brand. We are driven by passion and excellence,” said Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of Alfa Romeo.
“We are driven by passion and excellence. Formula 1 represents a cutting-edge laboratory for the future electrification of our range, fully coherent with our vision for the coming years. Furthermore, motorsport brings the incomparable global exposure we wish to leverage for a successful future,” he added.
The Italian brand returned to the motorsport after a hiatus of more than 30 years in 2018, signing with Sauber Motorsport to form the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. The team’s name would then change to Alfa Romeo Racing in 2019, before being known as Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen for the 2020 and current 2021 season.
The team’s initial drivers in 2018 were Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc, but for the subsequent seasons, the Ferrari-powered cars were piloted by Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi. As with most partnerships, Alfa Romeo has transferred the knowledge gained on track to its production cars, with projects like the Giulia GTA and GTAm.
“We are delighted to be announcing the extension of this partnership. Alfa Romeo have been an incredible companion over the last few years, and we are even more excited about the chapters that are yet to come. The new regulations are giving us the chance to make another step forward and I firmly believe we are perfectly placed to make big gains together, said Frédéric Vasseur, team principal of Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen and CEO of Sauber Motorsport.
“We are looking forward to our future together and to keeping moving towards the front of the grid. This relationship is also very important for our company as a whole, beyond the track: the work we have done in the automotive world has shown the extent of the technology and manufacturing skills of Sauber Engineering and we are confident we can continue working for Alfa Romeo on new and exciting projects that will shape the future of the car industry,” he ended.