Alfa Romeo badge, Sauber, Hockenheimring, 2018

Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team becomes Alfa Romeo Racing

2019 F1 season

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Sauber, which races under the team name Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, has announced it will compete as Alfa Romeo Racing in the 2019 F1 season.

The team previously appeared on the entry list for the new Formula 1 season under the team name Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

Team principal Frederic Vasseur confirmed the name change in a statement on Friday. “It is a pleasure to announce that we will enter the 2019 Formula One World Championship with the Team name Alfa Romeo Racing,” he said.

“After initiating the collaboration with our title sponsor Alfa Romeo in 2018, our team made fantastic progress on the technical, commercial and sporting side. This has given a boost of motivation to each team member, be that track-side or at the headquarter in Switzerland, as the hard work invested has become reflected in our results.”

The team has not indicated whether it also intends to change the name of its chassis from Sauber to Alfa Romeo. Formal approval is required for a team to change its chassis name in order for it to retain its share of Formula 1’s income.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Michael Manley said “Alfa Romeo Racing is a new name with a long history in Formula One.

“We’re proud to collaborate with Sauber in bringing Alfa Romeo’s tradition of technical excellence and Italian panache to the pinnacle of motorsport.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 40 comments on “Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team becomes Alfa Romeo Racing”

    1. Considering the amount of money they’ve poured into it, I understand this, but really it’s massive shame and not great PR. Keep the Sauber name and you keep winning hearts. Now they’re just another manufacturer (without their own engine).

      1. Does this mean that The new team can not claim it previous prize money?

      2. Yes for you the die hard, but Alfa want to be able to make nice car stickers and T-shirts for everyone, not just F1 fans, they want their name pure and simple.

    2. When on track, what will the car be referred to as? An Alfa Romeo or a Sauber from now on?

      1. i’m all for Calling it a BMW.
        lets hope they can leave Jordan and Toleman behind and Mix it with the stewards, ferraris and those almighty tyrells!

      2. Arr, pronounced with pirate voice.

    3. Surely the chassis name will be Alfa Romeo? as that’s why Racing Point was Racing Point Force India as they had to have the chassis name in the team name.

      1. There is a huge can of worms!
        If the chassis name changes they loose any entitlement to payment earned under the old name. They start as a “New Team”
        But you mention Racing Point Force India, there the worms are twitching violently as by all known standards and rules they should not have got their money earned under Force India. But everyone could see that unless they did then it was all finished for them, the money was essential to the team’s continuance under any name, however the FIA decided that they were a new team BUT Liberty decided to let then have the Force India points money. Thus creating what many people see as a breach of the commercial agreement rules between the teams and the current commercial rights leaseholder, (Liberty Media)
        While having every sympathy for the team and its resurrection this has of course created an anomaly which Hass were particularly upset about, as they got nothing in their first years while RPFI are getting an advantage over them but still being called a new team.

        So if Sauber change the chassis name all hell may break loose.

        1. I think this is one of those things the Liberty Media should be trying to sort out for 2020 so team owners can make appropriate name changes without fear of loosing money owed to them.

    4. I get that the FCA Group wants to make Alfa Romeo a top manufacturer, like Audi or Mercedes, but losing the Sauber name is sad.

      1. Then they should buy Sauber, which they didn’t. They are not a manufacturer.

        It is nothing more than a PR stunt.

      2. Yes, it is a bit disappointing to see it go, but let’s be realistic: Sauber were on the verge of bankruptcy for several years. Peter Sauber seemed to be of the opinion that good management saved it so it could be bought by Longbow Finance. I think the name Alfa Romeo is refreshing and the last few years of Sauber should be quietly forgotten.

    5. A pity we lose the Sauber name, but more than offset to have Alfa Romeo back as a full-fledged team.

      As an Alfa fan I’m so excited that I might change my favourite team, and who knows I will be rooting for Kimi as well ;)

    6. It’s very sad that we’re losing one of the longest standing names in the sport.

      I guess this doesn’t count as another “manufacturer” per se, given that the engine is still a Fezza.

      1. And the owners are still the same.

    7. It’s just a rebranded Ferrari that will not be alowed to compete with the prancing horse. The founders of Alfa would never have condoned this. I’m not sure Enzo Ferrari himself would be happy to see Alfa belittled in such a way.

      1. Well, initially Ferrary was just a rebranded Alfa Romeo, history often finds strange ways to repeat itself…

      2. It’s not even that. It is a rebranded Sauber, because it is still a Sauber, despite the name change.
        Except for the name (and drivers) nothing changes compared to last year. Same owners, same factory, same personnel.

    8. BOOOOOOO.

      Honestly, I care a lot for Sauber and have ZERO interest in yet another manufacturer. This is even worse in many ways as it’s just a B-team for Ferrari – they’re literally there to make up numbers.

      Sauber had a great history of challenging well with limited resources and while it’s great to see the team’s medium future secure at least, it’s dreadfully sad to see the Sauber name disappear. Even BMW understood the heritage of the name by keeping the Sauber title in theirs when they bought it. Don’t see why Alfa Romeo have to erase Sauber.

      They’re just a moving advertising board now.

    9. On one hand I think this really stinks, Sauber has been around for as long as I’ve been watching and Indeed Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborn were mourning the loss of the control of their team to BMW after the fact and proud to return to true independence. But it proved unfeasible and now they’re gone. At least they were able to find a buyer and exit quietly unlike the 2010 lot, still, gone they are finally none the less.

      On the other hand, what is to be expected? Red Bull set the standard and it’s hard to think Torro Rosso played an insignificant part in their rise. It’s foolish for the other top teams not to realise the value of having a “B-team” and at the same time the name of the team is the ultimate billboard on the car. It’s “business as usual” in the privateer unfriendly, fast dealing, money wheeling, wide world of F1.

      1. @skipgamer All true. But why are we allowing B-teams to exist? It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s so unsportmanlike! Toro Rosso taking penalties so that they can improve the engine for Red Bull. Cars allowing other cars to pass them. It’s all totally mad!

    10. As an Alfa man it’s great to have the name back front and centre, but I don’t like the manner in which it has been done (losing the Sauber name), nor do I like that they are in essence Ferrari’s Toro Rosso. This just brings them closer under the Ferrari wing and (IMO) paves the way for even closer collaboration in future. Let’s see how this one pans out.

    11. No more Force India, no more Sauber… Just Williams left (and I guess HAAS, technically, but until they actually start building their own cars from scratch, I won’t count them in the same category).

      I am sad.

      1. Force India, a.k.a. Racing Point, is still there, @joeypropane.
        More of an independent team than Haas based on what they develop themselves
        And arguably more independent than Williams if I look at the 2019 driver line up.

    12. Is it only me that thinks it’s strange they picked an English name so Alfa Romeo ‘Racing’ rather than anything Italian. Maybe now they are going for the American market plus it’s more universal?

    13. They might be able to buy McLaren for cheap as they are so rubbish then we can have Maserati back, same for Williams and turn them into Lancia. For people that thought F1 started in 2007 Lancia, Maserati and Alfa Romeo (Ferrari of course) were all in from the start so better have them all back in.

      1. But then they were different companies, now rhey are different brands from the same company. Quite a difference and not what I want to see (turning F1 into Formula FCA).

    14. Doesn’t seem to be important, but do we know whether the construction itself would be named Alfa Romeo-Ferrari, or simply Alfa Romeo?

      1. I think it will be just Alfa Romeo, branding their Ferrari engine.
        But i could be wrong haha.

        1. Last year I thought that it would be nice to call it as Sauber-Alfa Romeo, just like when it was Sauber-Petronas, obviously hiding a Ferrari engine inside. I will miss the Sauber name, but I’m not sure we won’t see it again in a couple of years’ time…

    15. Surely this is the “entrant” name, the constructor is still Sauber and the engine will be Ferrari or re-badged as Alfa Romeo.
      So on screen during races it should read as either Sauber Ferrari or Sauber Alfa Romeo

      1. They need to change the constructor name as well, because that has to appear in the team name according to the rules.

        So it would be Alfa Romeo or Alfa Romeo – Ferrari (depending on whether or not they will rebadge the engine).

        But as Keith already explained a chassis name change has to be approved unanimously by all teams to retain it’s prize money. And I wonder if that is going to happen.

        1. Alfa Romeo T.T.F.K.A.S (The Team Formerly Known As Sauber).

          1. Great shame, big shock and extremely disappointing for the Sauber fans who followed Peter Sauber all these years. Despite the results, Sauber has always been in the hearts of fans, not certainly as a major contender but as one racing team who tried their best to race with the ‘big boys’ as they are not manufacturers and always had limited funding. Peter Sauber as a private entrepreneur and sport man managed to be among the elite for all these years and also is remembered for bringing to the F1 world pilots like Massa, Raikonnen, Kubica, Heidfeld, Vettel, Leclerc. It is a pity that despite the financial pressure of the backers, Alfa Romeo, they couldn’t just keep Sauber name next to them. Last but not least, Alfa Romeo with a Swiss flag with HQ in Hinwil Switzerland? Just doesn’t sound right.

    16. Dear F1 Racing. Not at all sure about this…somewhat I feel that one Fiat/Chrysler team from Italy is enough. It would be much better if they put the Alfa Romeo name back into the endurance series to challenge Toyota and breathe new life into that championship.

    17. And another thought, a somewhat unfair comparison to Formula-E, where both the huge manufacturers and both the small indie teams are happy to join forces and have their names and brands attached together, like Audi-Abt-Schaeffler, Nissan-EDams, DS-Techeetah, BMW-Andretti and I guess Mercedes-HWA next season. I believe that the Sauber name is famous enough and wouldn’t hurt anyone if they disguised the power unit only, like Sauber-Alfa Romeo.

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