Alfa Romeo's F1 return confirmed as partnership with Sauber is announced
The Sauber F1 team has announced a new commercial and technical partnership with Alfa Romeo that will see the outfit rebranded for next season.
The deal is described as "multi-year" and will see the team re-named as Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team from 2018.
A tie-up between the Hinwil-based team and the Alfa name has been rumoured for some time as Fiat Crysler chief Sergio Marchionne has been keen to bring the Italian brand back into F1 for the first time since 1985.
“This agreement with the Sauber F1 Team is a significant step in the reshaping of the Alfa Romeo brand, which will return to Formula 1 after an absence of more than 30 years," said Marchionne.
"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."
The team is expected to run Ferrari junior driver and F2 champion Charles Leclerc next year, with Antonio Giovinazzi - also a Ferrari junior - in the running to get the second seat if the team dispenses with Marcus Ericsson.
Sauber chairman Pascal Picci said: "Alfa Romeo has a long history of success in grand prix racing, and we are very proud that this internationally renowned company has chosen to work with us for its return to the pinnacle of motorsport.
"Working closely with a car manufacturer is a great opportunity for the Sauber Group to further develop its technology and engineering projects.
"We are confident that together we can bring the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team great success, and look forward to a long and successful partnership."
We asked designer Sean Bull what an Alfa Romeo Sauber car might look like, and he came up with this design:
What do you think?