The Alfa Romeo name will stay in Formula 1 next season after the Italian car brand extended its title partnership with Sauber until the end of 2021.
The partnership in which Sauber was renamed Alfa Romeo while also providing engineering feedback on some of Alfa’s road cars began in 2018. With the deal set to expire at the end of this season, the team has now announced an extension “until at least the end of the current era of Formula 1 regulations,” although team principal Frederic Vasseur is hopeful of a longer-term partnership.
“The extension of our relationship with Alfa Romeo is a true statement of intent from both parties,” Vasseur said. “In Sauber, Alfa Romeo found a committed, performance-driven partner to which they could entrust their brand: we are honored to carry the heritage and past success of Alfa Romeo in our name.
“Both parties always intended for this relationship to bear fruit in the long term: we have laid some solid foundations in the last three seasons and we aim to reap the rewards of this work in 2021 and beyond.”
Alfa Romeo is owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and its CEO Mike Manley says it is important the brand has a presence in motorsport.
“Racing and performance are at the core of Alfa Romeo’s DNA,” Manley said. “The brand was practically born on a racetrack and today we continue to compete at the most technologically advanced level of motorsport.
“The partnership with Sauber also allows our customers to benefit from exclusive racing know-how, as it is the case of the all-new Giulia GTA and GTAm, which incorporate Sauber Engineering’s technical input, particularly as it relates to advanced aerodynamics.”
Alfa Romeo’s 2021 driver line-up has yet to be announced, but it is expected that the team will retain its current pairing of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi despite being linked with Sergio Perez and Ferrari Driver Academy members Mick Schumacher and Robert Shwartzman.