Alfa Romeo has announced that it will sever ties with Sauber at the conclusion of the 2023 campaign.
The Italian automaker partnered with Sauber as a title sponsor in 2018 before the contract was extended and the team’s name changed to Alfa Romeo the following year.
Audi declared on Friday that it would start competing in the sport in 2026 as an engine supplier. It is widely believed that it will buy the majority of Sauber shares, even if this has not yet been confirmed.
Alfa Romeo announced that it would sever ways with Sauber by the end of the 2023 season in a statement that was made available hours after Audi’s confirmation.
“Alfa Romeo communicates that its partnership with Sauber Motorsport will end within the end of 2023,” the statement read.
“Alfa Romeo announced its return in F1 in 2017 with a long term plan, and in July 2022 has announced the decision to continue its partnership with Sauber also for 2023, given to the promising results of the first half of the season, both in terms of performances, marketing and positive collaboration with the team.”
“Since the economic and industrial turnaround of the brand will be achieved in 2022, Alfa Romeo will now evaluate among the many opportunities on the table, and decide which will be the best one to sustain the long term strategy and the positioning of the Brand.”
When the Italian automaker joined Sauber as a name partner in 2018, they supported Charles Leclerc’s impressive rookie season.
Marcus Ericsson’s departure from Formula 1 caused the Monegasque to move up to Ferrari in 2019. Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, who had competed twice for the Sauber squad in 2017, took their places.
Three years ago, Alfa Romeo furthered their partnership with the Sauber Group by obtaining the name rights to the side. The operation is still based in Switzerland and is still managed by Sauber; it now goes by the name Alfa Romeo, which has helped the team’s cash flow.
After Raikkonen and Giovinazzi left the sport at the end of the previous year, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou took their places.
Recent statements from Volkswagen affiliates Audi and Porsche indicating their ambition to compete at the highest level of motorsport in 2026 include the latter’s plans to supply power units to Red Bull and their junior squad, AlphaTauri.
In the meantime, McLaren, Aston Martin, and Williams have all recently been mentioned in connection with Audi’s search for a team to buy. However, compared to Sauber, those three teams are financially more stable and less vulnerable to takeover attempts.
Audi announced on Friday morning that they will join Formula 1 in 2026, and the most recent information very certainly means that the German automaker will acquire Sauber.
The fact that this deal will go through, along with Porsche’s agreement with Red Bull when they submitted paperwork to buy stock in Red Bull Technology, has become one of the worst-kept secrets in Formula One. Additionally, they have trademarked “F1nally,” and Audi is about to reveal that Sauber will be theirs in four years.