Sauber rebranded as Alfa Romeo Racing for 2019
The Sauber name is to disappear from Formula 1 after confirmation that the Swiss team is to be rebranded as Alfa Romeo Racing for the 2019 season.
Sauber has participated in Formula 1 since 1993 and last year took on title sponsorship from Alfa Romeo, part of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group of which Ferrari is a sister organisation, with the team officially entered as Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.
It was announced on Friday that the team will compete as Alfa Romeo Racing from 2019, though it was stressed “the ownership and management of Sauber [is] remaining unchanged and independent" of the wider Alfa Romeo group.
“It is a pleasure to announce that we will enter the 2019 Formula One World Championship with the Team name Alfa Romeo Racing,” said Team Principal Frederic Vasseur.
“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 headquarters 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.”
Alfa Romeo will field 2007 World Champion Kimi Raikkonen alongside full-time rookie Antonio Giovinazzi this year.
Sauber made its Formula 1 debut in 1993 and the name remained present throughout the past 25 years, having been called BMW-Sauber during its four-year association with the German marque.
It improved to eighth in last season's Constructors' Championship, ahead of Toro Rosso and Williams, having struggled on- and off-track during the early hybrid years, prompting an overhaul of ownership and management.
Alfa Romeo was one of the founding teams in Formula 1, winning the Drivers' title in 1950 and 1951 with Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio respectively, before withdrawing from the championship.
It returned to Formula 1 between 1979 and 1985, achieving only moderate success, having also acted as an engine supplier to the race-winning Brabham team in the late 1970s.
"Alfa Romeo Racing is a new name with a long history in Formula 1," said Michael Manley, CEO of FCA Group.
"We’re proud to collaborate with Sauber in bringing Alfa Romeo’s tradition of technical excellence and Italian panache to the pinnacle of motorsport.
"Make no mistake: with Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi on one side of the pit wall and Alfa Romeo and Sauber expertise on the other, we are here to compete."