Fred Vasseur wants Alfa Romeo works team future for Sauber
Sauber team principal Frederic Vasseur says the goal is for the Swiss team to become a "fully fledged" Alfa Romeo works team in the future.
Alfa Romeo announced it would become the team's title sponsor in 2018 which includes renaming the team 'Alfa Romeo Sauber', whilst also lending technical assistance throughout the season.
Sauber also took on Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc as part of the deal which will see the team using the latest specification of Ferrari engine – Ferrari and Alfa Romeo share the same chairman in Sergio Marchionne and were both owned by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles until Ferrari's recent flotation.
Team boss Vasseur is eyeing a greater collaboration in future which could see Sauber drop the name of its founder, Peter Sauber, in favour of Alfa Romeo.
"The company's executives want to see a fully fledged Alfa Romeo team," the Frenchman told Auto Hebdo.
"At this moment in time we are using Ferrari engines, but our goal is not to be a subsidiary of, but the main Alfa Romeo team."
His comments come just days after Peter Sauber – who sold his stake last year – assured the Sauber name wouldn't be dropped and the team would remain a privateer, but Vasseur doesn't believe that's viable in the long-term.
"Personally, I do not see how in the end a private team can survive in F1," he added. "Private teams can have a couple of great seasons, like Force India at present, but with the slightest hint of a crisis, the whole outfit can collapse.
"Thanks to the cooperation with Alfa Romeo, our team is on a stable course."