Alfa Romeo announces Formula 1 departure

Alfa Romeo announces Formula 1 departure

Alfa Romeo has officially announced its Formula 1 departure ahead of this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Sauber’s Formula 1 title partner Alfa Romeo has bid farewell to the sport with this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix serving as its final race.

The Italian manufacturer made a comeback to the sport in 2018 following a 30-year break, this time with Sauber Motorsport. The partnership has resulted in six years of hard and productive work together.

Alfa Romeo thanked all of its drivers—Charles Leclerc, Marcus Ericsson, Antonio Giovinazzi, Kimi Raikkonen, Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas—as well as the late Sergio Marchionne who firmly supported the collaboration in 2018, in a statement released on Thursday.

The Sauber Team, including co-owner Finn Rausing, former team principal Fred Vasseur, Alessandro Alunni Bravi, and Andreas Siedl, were also deeply appreciated by the team for their consistent, passionate, and highly competent partnership.

“When you close such an important chapter in the history of a brand, it’s time to take stock,” said Alfa Romeo chief executive Jean-Philippe Imparato.

“For Alfa Romeo, this F1 adventure represented an international showcase at the highest level, as well as a profound human and sporting experience.

“In my humble opinion, the return on investment from the work we have done here has been the most positive in my entire career.

“The benefits in terms of visibility serve as a benchmark for the entire Stellantis group.

“Alfa Romeo has competition in its DNA and will return to thrill its fans as soon as possible, when the conditions are right.”

With a rich history in motorsport, Alfa Romeo was a key player in Formula 1 from 1950 until 1988, serving as a manufacturer and an engine supplier.

The team won the drivers’ world championship in their first two seasons in 1950 and 1951 with Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio. The team aalso served as an engine supplier for multiple Formula One teams between 1961 and 1979.

They made a comeback as constructors in 1979, and their best result came in the 1983 championship, where they finished sixth.

The Sauber team will transform into the Audi works team as the German automaker makes its F1 debut in 2026. The carmaker’s name and logo, however, are unlikely to appear on the grid beforehand, according to team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi.

“No. Audi will enter in 2026,” he replied when asked if that was a possibility following Alfa Romeo’s exit.

“Commercially speaking, it is important to have a big bang in 2026, not to dilute the Audi involvement with the team.

“So, we will continue as Sauber, based on the heritage of the group.”

The Sauber name is anticipated to make an appearance as the official team name for the next two seasons, along with a title sponsor. The final team name will be revealed next month.

In honor of their six-year partnership with Sauber, Alfa Romeo will have a special livery for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The C43 will be embossed with the number six and the phrase “Alfa Romeo nei nostri cuori,” which translates to “Alfa Romeo always in our hearts.”

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