Sauber 2024 livery reveal event

“Maybe we went too extreme”: Sauber go all-in on stopgap new identity

Formula 1

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For those with cherished memories of Formula 1’s extravagant launches, Sauber’s unveiling of its new identity did not disappoint.

London’s 15th century Guildhall building providing a stunning juxtaposition for striking new colours of the team formerly known as Alfa Romeo, still run by Sauber, and now officially competing as Stake F1 Team. A statue of Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington (d. 1852), gazed down as the team kick-started its “new era” with a full-on sensory assault of lights, lasers, pounding beats and chaotic, vivid graphics.

This new era will be a brief one, however. With new manufacturer partner Audi due to arrive in 2026, expect this team to return to its more familiar muted corporate colours before long. In the meantime the team has an uncompromising new look.

“For us, it was important that everywhere we have this new identity that is clear and we created it all around this mantra ‘unleashed’,” explained team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi. “We have translated this into every area, in all the teams’ assets, starting from the colour scheme.

Sauber 2024 livery reveal event
Their new car will be hard to miss on-track
“First of all, we wanted to have a colour scheme that is unique in Formula 1, that is not used by any other team because we want to have a distinguished approach in every area.”

In this respect they have already succeeded. Whether the colour appeals to you or not is a matter of taste, and there may be plenty of weight-saving bare carbon between the green, but this car is not going to look lost in F1’s increasingly bland and blue field.

“We want really to show that there is a new team identity, not something that could be similar to the old Sauber era or using colours that were similar to the previous six years,” Alunni Bravi continued. “So we went for a really 360-degrees approach in every area.

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“It’s a new team identity but it is also on our social media platform, a new way to communicate, different languages. So I think it has been an holistic approach for us. The colour is one element, but not all.”

Sauber 2024 livery reveal event
Sauber “unleashed” a new look for 2024
The sharp contrast in the choice of launch venue, plus an event considerbaly more compelling than a few renderings being sent out by email, was intended to play that off: “As a testament of intent of everything also today we decided to have a car launch that is more an event, a show, to better communicate our vision and what we want to do,” said Alunni Bravi.

The team intends to maintain its high-impact presence in the field throughout the year by drawing on Stake’s roster of influencers and celebrities. “During the season we will use brand ambassadors, we will have a lot of activations together with partners of Stake or brand ambassadors of Stake. You will see here coming Everton football players. We have seen last year, for instance, Aguero coming to races to have cross-marketing activities and many other influencers and so on.

“Of course it’s a new language. But we want really to expand our fan base. I think this will be beneficial also for Formula 1, and we want to use all the tools that also Formula 1 is now using to expand our audience.”

The team is encouraged by the impact it made when its new identity was revealed online by Canadian rap star Drake. “One of the biggest music artists in the world – Drake – announced our new team identity,” said Alunni Bravi. “We had 22 million visualisations of this team announcement in two days. That is a target that we never achieve with a single post on our social media platform. It has been huge.

“This shows also the potential, of course, of the social media. But also if you have the vision, if you have proper communication, you can really reach new targets.”

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While the team appears as Stake F1 Team on the official FIA F1 entry list, an alternative name will be used in countries where advertising gambling is prohibited. The chassis is listed as ‘Kick Sauber’, referencing another brake which shares the same owners as Stake.

Sauber 2024 livery reveal event
‘Stake’ name cannot be used at every round
Alunni Bravi says he understands why some fans regret the team’s decision not to make its heritage identity Sauber, which first appeared in F1 in 1993, more prominent.

“Of course, there could be criticism because there also people that are, I would say, close to what was Sauber, of course they expect something different,” he said. “But we want really to have a new team identity.

“I think that people will see during the year how we will communicate, how we will get closer to them, all the activities that we will do to engage with fans, I think that they will forget all of this and they will see how much is exciting in this new chapter for our brand.”

“The criticism will be always there,” he added. “When you try something new, when you try a new language, when of course you have a team name that is different from other team names is always easy to criticise. But we put this into consideration. What we are doing is that we want to show the benefit of this choice.”

Those who take against the team’s new identity can console themselves with the fact it is only temporary. “Of course 2026 is something different,” said Alunni Bravi. “We will be the Audi works team and we will have a completely new identity first because of course Audi will enter Formula 1 for the very first time, not only as a new manufacturer, but buying a team. So as a manufacture team, we will be something completely new, as you can expect, according to what is the brand positioning of Audi as one of the top premium brands in Formula 1.

“But in these two years, we need to have a new team identity and this is why we – maybe we went too extreme, I don’t know – for sure we will do something new and that for us will be really attractive for all the fan base.”

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Sauber 2024 livery reveal event
Sauber’s new name will be in place for two years before Audi arrive

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22 comments on ““Maybe we went too extreme”: Sauber go all-in on stopgap new identity”

  1. The team intends to maintain its high-impact presence in the field throughout the year by drawing on Stake’s roster of influencers and celebrities.

    Silly Andretti, they should have teamed up with ‘influencers’ – not with GM!

    So when is this outfit going to win a race? Or are they just going to change their livery every race weekend?

    1. By change the livery do you mean add more black or more green?

      1. They could alternate adding a green and black piece for every tenth they get closer to Red Bull.

        Who knows, they might end up like Jan Lammers’ chequered flag livery on his LMP Dome from back in the early 2000s.

  2. That was stomach churning. I’m not tuning in to see footballers and rappers standing around their garage while the cars run in 15th place. Spend that money on the car instead of putting drake up in a 7 star hotel in Dubai.

  3. Bet it’s gonna be Pimp my Stake Kick Sauber every race – and upgrades will be nothing more than silly gimmicks.

  4. Should be easy to spot them at the back at least.

    1. Yeah, quite a color contrast vs. Haas (and Williams) – that will make it easier to see on the rare occasions FOM shows those cars!

    2. It’s a black car with a few green stickers

  5. Who will finish the season in 2024 with fewer points, Everton or Sauber?

  6. I’ve always joked someone should paint the entire car in flow viz. I’ll never utter those words again but I’m happy to see a unique livery that doesn’t look like it was designed by a team of 100 marketing directors.

    1. Doesn’t look like marketing? You’re kidding right? This whole livery screams how can we attract as many eyeballs and camera shots as possible.

      1. Yes. The green colour is that of Kick.

      2. That’s not a bad thing. Scream loud and stand out, I say.

        I believe the “100 marketing directors” was a reference to the liveries of constant compromise resulting in bland on bland.

  7. Somehow I fear the only remarkable feature of this team will be the green parts of the car.

  8. José Lopes da Silva
    6th February 2024, 20:34

    It was a gamble.

    1. We see what you did there.

  9. What we are doing is that we want to show the benefit of this choice.

    Which is? Money? It’s the money isn’t it?

  10. Everyone complains that teams just launch there car with a few renders of the new livery and they want the big flashy launches back.

    Enter Sauber who do exactly that and now all the people say stop wasting your money on a flashy show and build a better car.

    Make up your mind people.

  11. Stake should get Berger as a driver.

    1. and Chip Ganassi should be the team owner

  12. As much as we might laugh at the name and livery, Sauber don’t really have anything to lose by taking the route that they have and forming a new identity.. even if it’s temporary.

    Sauber is probably one of the most anonymous brands in F1 anyway. From a brand and marketing perspective they’ve always had an identity problem in the past.. the tie up with BMW, all sorts of different colours and liveries that are disconnected from one another. It’s no Jordan GP with its own distinct flavour, specific colours, party atmosphere, and a character like Eddie Jordan running it. They might as well do something drastic.. its better than just being vanilla again.

  13. Wasn’t Andretti the one who would bring down the value of F1?

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