F1 news: Sauber renamed Alfa Romeo for 2019 season
Alfa Romeo take over team name as Sauber disappears from the grid after 25 years
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 01/02/19 12:26pm
Sauber will become known as Alfa Romeo Racing in 2019.
A year after Alfa Romeo came on board as title sponsor and technical partner, the Italian car maker takes over the name of the long-standing Swiss team ahead of the new F1 season.
Sauber remain an independent team with their ownership structure unchanged. But the rebranding does mean that the Sauber name disappears from the grid for the first time since it was launched in 1993.
"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 boss 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 headquarter in Switzerland, as the hard work invested has become reflected in our results.
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
"We aim to continue developing every sector of our team while allowing our passion for racing, technology and design to drive us forward."
Sauber made big improvements in form last year, moving up two positions in the Constructors' Championship to eighth, and in 2019 have signed former world champion Kimi Raikkonen to spearhead their challenge.
"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 Manley, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Group, who own Alfa Romeo.
Of F1's current teams, only the names Ferrari, McLaren and Williams had been on the grid longer than Sauber's.
Alfa Romeo was last a team name in 1985 when the carmaker had its own works squad. The marque won the first two F1 Drivers' Championships in 1950 and 1951.