Alfa Romeo made their return to Formula 1 last season after signing a multi-year technical and commercial partnership with Sauber. For the 2019 season however, the team, together with a new driver lineup of Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, has officially rebranded and will race under the name of Alfa Romeo Racing.
“It is a pleasure to announce that we will enter the 2019 Formula One World Championship with the Team name ‘Alfa Romeo Racing’. After initiating the collaboration with our Title Sponsor Alfa Romeo in 2018, our team made fantastic progress on the technical, commercial, and sporting side,” said Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal Alfa Romeo Racing.
Despite the change in team name, Sauber’s ownership and management remains unchanged, continuing to be headquartered in Switzerland, not Italy. More so, the team will also continue to be using Ferrari engines for the 2019 season.
With the name change, it marks the first time the Sauber name will not be in a Formula 1 race since its debut in 1993 under the ownership of Peter Sauber. Sauber’s most successful period in Formula 1 was seen back in the mid-2000s under the ownership of BMW, where the team managed to score their only F1 victory in 2008 and took 2nd place in in the Constructor’s Championship in 2007. Together with Alfa Romeo, the Sauber team also managed to finish eight in the Constructors’ Champion last year with Ferrari power units.
As for Alfa Romeo, the Italian automaker has had a long history in Formula 1. In fact, they were one of the dominant teams when Formula 1 World Championship began in 1950, even claiming back to back world championships. Alfa Romeo then served as an engine supplier for several teams from 1961 to 1979 before returning as an official works team in 1979 until 1985.
Alfa Romeo Racing is set to debut their 2019 challenger during the first day of testing at Barcelona.