Sauber change name to ‘Stake F1 Team’ for next two seasons

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The Sauber team, which previously competed as Alfa Romeo, have announced they will race under the name of title sponsors Stake until 2026.

The gambling company, which had sponsored the team during 2023 with its sister streaming brand Kick, will take over full branding identity of Sauber’s entry for the upcoming two seasons.

Sauber had previously been entered for the 2024 season in the official entry list under the chassis name of ‘Kick Sauber’. The team’s C44 car will be unveiled next month ahead of the new season.

Sauber team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi said the rebranding to ‘Stake F1 Team’ was a “natural and exciting next step” in their partnership with the gambling company.

“Stake not only successfully tapped into Formula 1’s growing fan base to enhance its own community but also introduced a completely new audience to the sport, something that benefitted not only our team but also everyone else in F1,” said Alunni Bravi.

“We had the opportunity to participate in some incredible activations with some of Stake’s ambassadors, including Argentine football legend, Sergio Aguero and Indian-Canadian rapper Karan Aujla. 2024 will be a new page and the chance to do more, better, and reach even farther: we are looking forward to an even more exciting calendar of events in this new season.”

The Sauber team will evolve into Audi’s factory Formula 1 team when the German manufacturer officially enters the sport in 2026 with the introduction of the newest generation of 1.6-litre V6 turbo hybrid power units. Despite speculation through 2023 that Audi management were thinking twice about the decision to enter F1, new CEO Gernot Dollner reaffirmed the brand are committed to enter with Sauber in 2026.

Sauber, racing as Alfa Romeo, finished ninth in the constructors’ championship last season with 16 points – a fall of three places compared to their sixth place in 2022.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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62 comments on “Sauber change name to ‘Stake F1 Team’ for next two seasons”

  1. Good name for a back raker, I suppose. Can join the long list of poor teams with dubious companies as title sponsors.

    1. The won’t do anything while still having Ferrari engines and they need a name before becoming Audi

  2. I wonder how Audi feel about the potential reputational risk of having a dodgy crypto/betting site as the title sponsor of “their” team for two years before they buy in?

    I’m not sure this story is over just yet.

    1. I think that you overestimate how many people will even remember and how many people care about the sponsors.

    2. 90’s-00’s

      I wonder how Mclaren/Williams/Ferrari/BAR feel about the potential reputationable risk of having a company causing highly addictive breathing problems as the title sponsor of “their” team.

      Crypto/betting is just the modern version of tobacco sponsors. Won’t surprise me if they cover up the sponsors like they do with the classic cars now.

    3. notagrumpyfan
      1st January 2024, 11:57

      Audi has already a stake in Sauber.
      And others have done so as well: Ryan Reynolds et al. in Alpine, Wolff Ineos in Mercedes, and some Saudis in McLaren.

      Stake might kick themselves for choosing such a forgettable name.

      1. someone or something
        1st January 2024, 16:05

        You mean a stake in Stake?

      2. Should of named it snake. Sounds more deadly….

        Russell – “That Sauber just moved twice under braking!”

        Toto – “You’ve been snaked!”

  3. @sjaakfoo A good name, properly aggressive. Better than a can of drink that tastes like urine that’s for sure. And what exactly is dubious about Stake?

    1. “Crypto casino & sports betting online with Stake. Bet in BTC & more.”

      What could possibly be dodgy about that? /s

      1. It’s a legally operating betting company. It’s not like that imaginary drinks company which “sponsored” Haas, or that Moneytron thing from the early 90s etc. etc. It has a product that exists and operating, within the parameters of the law in areas that it operates . Now whether you’re opposed to betting in principle or whatever that’s your choice, but that doesn’t make it dodgy.

        1. notagrumpyfan
          1st January 2024, 15:26

          Something can be legal (in some parts of the world) but still dodgy.

          1. Alcohol companies are a good example. They’re legal in most places but very bad.

          2. In most part of the world actually. Again that is a matter of opinion. You think that something you don’t like is dodgy. I think only something that’s illegal can be classified as such. Otherwise anyone can call anything they dislike dodgy. Doesn’t make it a fact.

          3. @yaru And I disagree. Nothing wrong in a little alcohol as long as you are not abusing. That’s precisely what I was talking about with my reply to the above poster. You calling something dodgy because you don’t like it doesn’t make it dodgy. It’s just… your opinion. Otherwise where does it end? I’m sure there are people calling motorsport a dodgy activity, what of it?

          4. Nothing wrong in a little alcohol as long as you are not abusing.

            The problem with that is that the bar for ‘abusing’ is shown in studies to be much lower than is commonly suggested by people who insist they are not heavy drinkers; indeed, as shown by Daviet e.a. in a 2022 study of the UK Biobank, ‘the negative associations between alcohol intake and brain macrostructure and microstructure are already apparent in individuals consuming an average of only one to two daily alcohol units’.

        2. Legally operating, in the countries where anti-money laundering laws are virtually non-existent. These types of company are banned in the UK and I think in the US, because the source of funds is untraceable.

          Also how much do you trust a company that is an online casino? Now add to that the fact that it’s extremely easy for them to artificially inflate your winnings and encourage you to deposit more crypto, and they just bank the cash and decide one day to pull the plug when enough people want to withdraw.

          If you ignore the crypto element of it, it’s essentially a casino that doesn’t allow you to gamble in your own currency – you have to convert your currency to something else. Think about why there isn’t, for example, an online casino that mandates that you Micronesian Ria stones. There’s no valid, legitimate business reason to do so. Might be legal, but it certainly would seem dodgy.

          1. I see your points and completely understand. I’m not into crypto or any kind of online gambling apart from an occasional football bet. So it’s good to see that perspective, I’d learned a lot, thank you.

            However my point still stands. Where do you cross the line for something to be called dodgy? Something that as of now wasn’t proven to be doing anything untrustworthy cannot be called that IMO otherwise anything can be called dodgy. Someone in this discussion already called alcohol companies dodgy. I mean where does it stop?

            Something like the Haas sponsor(still can’t remember the name of that weirdo and his imaginary company) is the level where you say ok there’s something fishy and it’s not the contents of Baldrick’s apple crumble (please excuse the Blackadder reference).

        3. @montreal95 whilst it may be operating legally (more on that later), the company has operated under a gambling licence issued by the island of Curaçao. Unfortunately, Curaçao has had a long standing reputation for tending to issue gambling licences rather freely and having a rather weak vetting system for companies applying for licences.

          In mid 2023, the finance minister for Curaçao, Javier Silvania, noted there had been “troubling corporate behaviour” in the gambling sector due to the lax regulations and promised a tranche of new legislation to tackle problems with money laundering, sub-licencing and a lack of owner transparency. Whilst it might therefore have a licence, the fact that it came from a nation that was famed for rather loose regulations doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence.

          There is also the question of what you mean by “legally operating betting company” – in the UK or USA, for example, the crypto gambling side of Stake’s activities are actually classified as illegal and they would be committing a criminal offence if they accepted funds from people in those countries. However, there have been some questions about how effective Stake’s systems are at screening out people from those countries in practice.

          There have also been questions about the way in which they were marketing themselves on Twitch, prior to Twitch cracking down on gambling advertising – Stake was one of the companies that was explicitly targeted by Twitch on the grounds that it operated in jurisdictions with inadequate consumer protection regulations against gambling addiction.

          In particular, there were questions over their sponsorship of the streamer xQc, who was paid to show streams of himself gambling on Stake – partially because xQc has also publicly stated that they have problems with being addicted to gambling, and thus there was a question of whether they were exploiting him in the process, and partially because xQc’s audience has a significant proportion of people under the age of 18, which made it somewhat questionable whether that advertising campaign complied with legislation on advertising gambling products to people under the age of 18.

          There have also been questions about how robust Stake’s security measures are as, in September 2023, the site was hacked by the Lazarus Group and estimated to have lost around $41 million before it brought the situation back under control.

          1. @anon Wow, thanks for the extensive explanation. It’s not frequent, when one learns so much from a single post here

            I begin to see now why this company in particular might be called dodgy. My reply to the original post was on assumption of, and in opposition to, the company being called dodgy simply on the basis of it being an online gambling business. Because this line of thinking is a slippery slope in my opinion. Now that you’d explained it in this way I see why it might indeed be dodgy. I stand corrected. Again thanks, and my apologies.

          2. I’m glad to see this comment, thank you.

          3. Thanks for that deep dive @anon.

            I would see that there is clearly good ground to call the company dodgy.

  4. Wow. That is exciting.

  5. The name, that’s good. I like proper aggressive names with intent and this is one such. however what worries me is the color. The car is probably going to be another of those boring monochromatic black and white abominations Sauber was famous for in the v8 era…

  6. My house is safe, as expected

    1. Exactly!
      They might as well called themselves ‘Fake Hype F1 Team’

  7. They can put some silly name on it just because Aunt Doris’ pickled sausages (or some less reputable wannabe) has bunged them some money to do so but it will still be the Sauber team, so I will continue to call it so, as will many others.
    Besides, having a sentence as a team name may not be such a great idea. Questions should be asked like “Why should Stake kick Sauber?”

    1. Am I the only one who now suddenly has a weird urge to actually see a “Aunt Doris’ Pickled Sausages F1 Team“?

  8. How many Steak restaurants are going to sponsor them?

  9. The Stakes have never been lower.

    1. Wrong. The stakes have never been higher! /s

  10. Ah, even during this “golden age” of F1 under Liberty Media, having title sponsors of questionable reputation is still a tradition being maintained.

    1. Sauber doesn’t really need a sponsor, seeing as how a few years ago they successfully threatened to take Liberty to the EU courts and were – effectively – bought off with a much higher guaranteed part of the commercial rights pay-out. Plus they have Audi coming in and starting their integration soon, and they’re not making any serious investments like Aston Martin is, and have some cash coming in from their driver. It should be fairly simple for Sauber to run this operation as a low-budget F1 team for the next two years.

  11. Stake actually means boner in Swedish.. Boner F1 :D

    1. And I thought the potential for an incident involving a Kick up the Haas was unfortunate….

  12. Lewisham Milton
    1st January 2024, 11:42

    How do you make a brand disappear completely during a Grand Prix?
    Put it on a Sauber.

  13. Stake your claim here!

  14. Chances of podium finishes for Stake Sauber?


  15. I’ll probably call them Stake-Sauber to recognize both parts within the team identity.

  16. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    1st January 2024, 13:10

    I find this really disrespectful considering Lewis and Roscoe are vegan.

    1. Roscoe isn’t a vegan, he is a dog being abused by having an unhealthy vegan diet forced on him. Dogs are never willingly vegan.

    2. Dogs are carnivores (meat/bones) they can eat some greenstuff through their meat but must be around 10% otherwise you risk the dogs health.

  17. Medium rare or well done ? I would say though, I was used to watching all the gambling ads on Brit TV, but now its invading the US, what a shame. How are these people not more toxic than cigarette makers ?

    Second thought, Mercedes inviding FTX on to their chassis, which ultimately turned out to be a money laundering outfit for Sam’s friends and politicians+whomever, maybe Merc deserved the last two years in the ditches for garbage repping. F1 should be above gambling and money laundering schemes. Seriously, it should be. Because the next step is human trafficking, which some of those mediums are used to finance, unfortunately.

    1. @pcxmac by that same logic, you’d have to start questioning quite a few of the other teams on the grid – for a start, you’d have to look at Red Bull and their sponsor Bybit.

      Whilst you complain about FTX, Bybit is being drawn into that same case as the administrators of the bankrupt estate of FTX are suing Bybit for $953 million, which they allege Bybit misappropriated from FTX.

      More recently, Bybit is coming under investigation from the Commodity Futures Trading Committee (CFTC) over allegations of illegal trading activity in the USA. It is not the first time that it’s faced investigations for such behaviour either, having faced a similar investigation in Canada in 2021 (where they eventually agreed to pay a fine and to stop providing their services in Canada in return for no further action being taken against them), and in 2022 the Brazilian financial regulator banned them from operating in Brazil for a similar violation.

      Additionally, Bybit was, until October 2023, facilitating payments for two Russian banks (Tinkoff Bank and Sberbank) that have been subject to international sanctions.

  18. Since few french-speaking people appreciate the difference of pronounciation between “stake” and “steak”, and since in French “steak” is used in several semi-gross idioms of the slang of young people, I can safely assume that the new name will not feel classy to the french-speaking community.

    1. someone or something
      1st January 2024, 23:26

      There is no difference in pronunciation. Both are pronounced /steɪk/.
      A francophone background is not needed for (un)savoury puns about “Team Steak”.

      1. Oops, it looks like I had “steak” all wrong like most francophones ! Now if you tell me that “steaks” can also be used in English to figure the vulva, I will be truly flabbergasted.

  19. The Sauber name actually means a lot to a lot of fans, this seems like a really good way to alienate your fanbase before a wheel is even turned. It doesn’t make good financial sense either… I’d much rather buy a Sauber t-shirt and walk around advertising their sponsors than a ‘Stake’ t-shirt

    1. Stake is a better name than Sauber.

  20. Roth Man (@rdotquestionmark)
    1st January 2024, 20:38

    Really disappointed not to see the Sauber name return for a couple of seasons. At least it would have made a few of us happy. Who on earth is going to support Stake F1.

  21. What happened to it being called Kick Sauber?

    1. @jimgogo they are still getting their name in the picture as well, as the chassis name will be “Kick Sauber” and thus the overall team name is “Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber”.

      1. Tommy Scragend
        2nd January 2024, 21:56

        thus the overall team name is “Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber”.

        Sounds like a newspaper headline.

    2. Kick, of course, is just Stake’s own Twitch alternative, which was set-up after Twitch disallowed their gambling practices on their service. So I’m sure there’ll be plenty of Kick promotion around the team as well.

  22. The F1 team for rent strikes again.
    Wonder why other car brands doesn’t rent them too for a couple of years instead of buying whole teams.

    Still didn’t forget the “BMW-Sauber powered by Ferrari” from 2010.

  23. Note to commentators: If you see their car with any form of smoke coming from the brakes or engine, you are obligated to say “looks like that Stake is being cooked.”

  24. This changes everything. I don’t know how Red Bull is going to compete with them in 2024.

  25. Do not google, do not click any of their links, do not give them any exposure. They are spending a lot of money on this marketing, and that they have this money to spend says a lot about how successful they are at what they do, which is absolutely nothing good.

    The only slight positive is that their money is now in the hands of the Sauber team. I’d wish for any marketing PR spin to be simply ignored by the F1 paddock media. It’s not as if any of it makes a difference to the racing anyway. F1 should be better than aligning themselves with companies such as this and it shouldn’t take governments stepping in to prevent the marketing of genuinely harmful industries.

    1. Reportedly Alfa were spending $20 million/year for naming rights; I wonder how much ‘Stake’ is spending. Sad to see such a long lived and once successful team morph into Audi. Peter Sauber was about the last of the real privateers and had some good runs. The BMW Sauber was brilliant. Thanks for the memories Peter.

  26. Gavin Campbell
    2nd January 2024, 13:31

    I still assume its going to be called a “Sauber” – in the same way that a “Aston Martin” is never called a “Cognizant Aramco Aston Martin”. The whole press release around this make it sound like they are renaming the team but they aren’t, because Kick cannot legally operate in some markets thus they’d have to change the name of the entry race by race (not happening).

  27. So now the commentators can entertain us with “the Stake makes a fake take down the inside”… if only they had a driver called Jake Lake.

  28. Is the car still named after Christiane Sauber? C44 or whatever?
    Then it’s a Sauber.

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