Alfa Romeo will make a grand return for Formula 1 for the first time since 1985 in the next season, thanks to a new partnership with Sauber F1. The team will now be known as Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team and like most partnerships in the sport, the cooperation will be strategic, commercial and technological in nature.
Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne mentioned about the possibility of Alfa Romeo returning to Formula 1 some months back, in any case, the new partnership will only strengthen the bond between Sauber and Ferrari. Speaking about the new move, Marchionne added, “A storied marque that has helped make the history of this sport, Alfa Romeo will join other major automakers that participate in Formula 1. The brand itself will also benefit from the sharing of technology and strategic know-how with a partner of the Sauber F1 team’s undisputed experience.”
Alfa Romeo has a long history in Formula 1, they dominated the pre World War II era with the P2 and P3 and extended their support to Enzo Ferrari and his Scuderia Ferrari team. Nino Farina would then win the inaugural FIA World Championship Driver’s title in 1950 in an Alfa Romeo 158 while Juan Manuel Fangio repeated the same fate in a 159 in 1951. Alfa Romeo would then continue to supply engines to teams throughout the years.
For 2018, Charles Leclerc is expected to form the driver lineup for the new Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, alongside Ericsson although Antonio Giovinazzi could also be part of the lineup as a replacement for Ericsson.