F1: Alfa Romeo Renews Deal With Sauber Till 2024

Alfa Romeo was the first constructor to win the Formula One world championship but currently lags behind in P7.

Alfa Romeo has renewed its association with Sauber which involved the Alfa Romeo brand retaining naming rights over the Sauber F1 team till 2024. The association began in 2018 when then FCA CEO, Sergio Marchionne engineered a deal where Alfa Romeo was the lead sponsor of the team but then in 2019 that deal evolved to the rebranding of the team. Now with the cost cap in place, new ground effects aerodynamics returning to the sport providing a more level playing field, Alfa Romeo has decided to continue the deal till the end of 2024, which is just before F1 deploys a new engine formula. 

“As a historic Italian automotive brand, Alfa Romeo was born on the race track today we are proud to continue honouring that racing DNA by placing it at the heart of the future of our brand. We are driven by passion and excellence. F1 represents a cutting-edge laboratory for the future electrification of our range, fully coherent with our vision for the coming years. Furthermore, motorsport brings the incomparable global exposure we wish to leverage for a successful future,” said Alfa CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato.

The deal was being negotiated for months and the changes in the regulations have been the key motivators behind the renewal of the deal. For Sauber, this was critical as Alfa Romeo provides much needed financial support. It also helps that Alfa Romeo is the sister brand of its close partner Ferrari. Ferrari used to be part of the FCA which both were controlled by the Agnelli family. Now with the formation of Stellantis, and Ferrari going public, the Angelli family still controls both brands through its majority stake in Stellantis and controlling stake in Ferrari via its holding company Exor which is run by Agnelli family scion John Elkann. 

Alfa Romeo has a great dependence on Ferrari for its engine and its drivers. Antonio Gionvinazzi is from the Ferrari Driver Academy. Its reserve driver Callum Illott is also from the Ferrari Driver Academy, while Kimi Raikkonen switched to Alfa Romeo from Ferrari while Charles Leclerc got his seat at the Prancing Horse.

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