Alfa Romeo says it will end its title sponsorship of Sauber by the end of 2023, ahead of the expected takeover of the team by Audi.
On Friday morning, Audi officially announced its entry into Formula 1 in 2026 as a power unit supplier, with the German manufacturer saying it would finalize its team partnership by the end of the year. RACER understands that Audi is set to purchase a majority stake in the Sauber setup that is currently branded as Alfa Romeo, and Alfa Romeo has now issued a statement announcing next year will be its last with the team.
“Alfa Romeo communicates that its partnership with Sauber Motorsport will end within the end of 2023,” the statement read.
“Alfa Romeo announced its return in F1 in 2017 with a long-term plan, and in July 2022 has announced the decision to continue its partnership with Sauber also for 2023, given to the promising results of the first half of the season, both in terms of performances, marketing and positive collaboration with the team.
“Since the economic and industrial turnaround of the brand will be achieved in 2022, Alfa Romeo will now evaluate among the many opportunities on the table, and decide which will be the best one to sustain the long-term strategy and the positioning of the brand.”
Earlier on Friday, F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali said the direction the sport is heading is the right one as it attracts brands such as Audi to have technical involvement.
“In the history of Formula 1 we’ve been seeing teams coming, teams going, manufacturers coming, manufacturers going,” Domenicali said. “The beauty of the choice that we have taken together is that we are totally convinced that technically speaking, the choice that we have taken is the right path and will enable from the technological perspective — and from the sustainable perspective, and from the economical perspective — to have and to keep on board the actual and very respectful teams and manufacturers and to add more to this equation.
“So in this moment, if you look at the life of the cycles, I think we are totally in the positive side of it and it will be very long before — hoping as late as possible — tackling the other side of it. But now it’s all good, all a great trend — stay tuned.”