Alfa Romeo, Las Vegas Strip Circuit, 2023

Alfa Romeo ‘will return to F1 when the conditions are right’ – CEO

Formula 1

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Alfa Romeo has confirmed its withdrawal from Formula 1 as its branding deal with Sauber comes to an end after this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Italian marque began sponsoring Sauber’s F1 team in 2018 and the following year took the naming rights to the Swiss outfit.

However as Sauber is pursuing a new tie-up with Audi, which will see the German manufacturer produce its own power unit for new technical regulations due to arrive in 2026, Alfa Romeo’s collaboration with the team will come to an end.

During its latest spell in F1 Alfa Romeo and Sauber peaked with sixth in the world championship last year. Their final season has been less successful, however, and they go into this weekend’s finale just four points ahead of last-placed Haas in the constructors’ standings.

Nonetheless Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato said their time with Sauber has been “an international showcase at the highest level, as well as a profound human and sporting experience.”

New podium, Yas Marina, 2023
Gallery: First pictures from the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
“In my humble opinion, the return on investment from the work we have done here has been the most positive in my entire career,” Imparato added. “The benefits in terms of visibility serve as a benchmark for the entire Stellantis group.”

Alfa Romeo previously competed twice in F1 as a constructor. It took Giuseppe Farina to the first drivers’ world championship in 1950, followed by Juan Manuel Fangio the year after, then withdrew. It returned in the seventies and continued to compete until 1985.

Imparato indicated the brand has not ruled out returning to F1 in the future. “Alfa Romeo has competition in its DNA and will return to thrill its fans as soon as possible, when the conditions are right.”

For this weekend’s race Alfa Romeo’s car’s will carry number ‘six’ logos on its livery to reflect its time spent with Sauber. The C43s will also bear the slogan “Alfa Romeo nei nostri cuori”, Italian for “Alfa Romeo always in our hearts”.

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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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6 comments on “Alfa Romeo ‘will return to F1 when the conditions are right’ – CEO”

  1. Longbow Finance bought Sauber Motorsport from Peter Sauber back in 2016, yet the car numbers still start with the letter ‘C’ (a reference to Sauber’s wife Christiane). Nice.

    I wonder what Longbow Finance will do about branding/main sponsorship between now and 2026 when they start racing proper with Audi? That’s two long years.

    1. And I wonder if this spells bad news for Théo Pourchaire’s role of test/reserve driver for Alfa Romeo? I hope and guess not. He is a member of the Sauber Academy, so I guess he is affiliated with Longbow Finance and not the Stellantis group.

    2. I like the C numbers, and how it’s a series that began long before Sauber entered F1.
      Surely they can add to their impressive car collection of partners and sponsors: Mercedes-Benz, Ford, BMW, Ferrari (bonus points for two at once in 2010), almost Honda and Alfa Romeo.

  2. The “conditions” have never been right for Alfa Romeo to enter the sport and produce fantastic cars like the Giulia and the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. This was solely driven by Marchionne (RIP), whose guts and bold style allowed him to navigate through the typical corporate crap.

  3. Wasn’t it 2024 with Haas?

    1. That was always only a rumor.

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