The Sauber name has disappeared from the Formula One grid for the first time since 1993 with the team announcing today that their name has changed to Alfa Romeo Racing for 2019.
The Alfa Romeo brand returned to the grid for the first time since 1985 last year when it became a title sponsor of Sauber. Going forward for 2019, the team have announced that the Sauber name will be dropped and going forward they will be known as Alfa Romeo Racing.
Whilst the team name will change it has been confirmed that the ownership and management will stay the same.
Sauber have had a troubled few years but they tied up with Ferrari last season and this brought the re-introduction of the Alfa Romeo branding and improved results along with it.
In the official press release, team principal, Frederic Vasseur stated: “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. We aim to continue developing every sector of our team while allowing our passion for racing, technology and design to drive us forward.”
The team was originally founded by Peter Sauber and joined Formula 1 in 1993 with a Mercedes partnership. After Mercedes left in 1994 to join McLaren, the team spent a number of years using re-branded engines. The team became synonymous with the Red Bull and Petronas brands in the late 90’s/early 00’s before being purchased by BMW in 2006. BMW left the sport in 2009 and Sauber returned to being an independent team up until today.
Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi will be racing for Alfa Romeo in 2019 as they look to improve on their foundations from last year and compete to be “best of the rest”.