Alfa Romeo becomes F1 team again after deal with Sauber
Madrid: Swiss Formula One team Sauber announced on Friday that it had reached a partnership deal with legendary racing make Alfa Romeo to compete in the upcoming season under the name of the Italian car manufacturer.
Alfa Romeo Team Principal Frederic Vasseur explained that the team and the company would have a new joint name of Alfa Romeo Racing.
"We aim to continue developing every sector of our team while allowing our passion for racing, technology and design to drive us forward," Vasseur stated on Sauber's official team website.
Under the new team name the Swiss team is set to have Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen back in 2019 (Raikkonen got his start in F1 with Sauber in 2001) from rival Ferrari alongside Antonio Giovinazzi of Italy.
The partnership between Sauber and Alfa Romeo first started in 2018, when the Swiss team finished the season in eighth place in the Constructors' World Championship.
Since its Formula One debut in 1993, Sauber had its most successful season in 2008 when the team - then in a contractual relationship with the German car manufacturer BMW was titled "Sauber BMW" - finished the constructors' championship third, behind Ferrari in first place and McLaren Mercedes in second.
In the 2008 Formula One season, Sauber clinched its lone Formula One Grand Prix win, which came in Canada, where Sauber's Robert Kubica of Poland was the winner ahead of teammate Nick Heidfeld of Germany.
Since 2008, the Swiss team failed to make the top-5 in the Constructors' Championship standings, placing only as high as sixth at the end of the 2009 and 2012 seasons.
"Make no mistake: with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi on one side of the pit wall and Alfa Romeo and Sauber expertise on the other, we are here to compete," said Michael Manly, the team's CEO FCA Group.
The team made progress as it ended last season in the eighth place in constructor championship, compared to the 10th spot in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
"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," Vasseur stated.
New name, same game! ⚡ We're excited to announce Sauber and Alfa Romeo to keep fighting for ambitious results in 2019 @F1 World Championship as Alfa Romeo Racing. 🤝 + info: https://t.co/1RUddkPMpj #AlfaRomeoRacing #SauberMotorsport #Bwoah pic.twitter.com/0gzgwgpl66 — Alfa Romeo Racing (@SauberF1Team) February 1, 2019