The Sauber F1 team formerly known as Alfa Romeo has hinted on getting another name change in the new year after undergoing a major rebrand last week.
Sauber is gearing up for a second name change in a matter of weeks following an underwhelming reaction to their recent rebrand, suggesting that they are still deciding on the identity under which they might actually compete in 2024 F1.
Since Alfa Romeo and the Sauber team’s collaboration was coming to an end, everyone tuned into the FIA’s entry list last week to see what racing name the Swiss team was registering for 2024.
Alfa Romeo’s sponsorship slot was filled by other sponsors under the new team name, ‘Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber.’ The primary branding rights went to the gaming company Stake while Kick, a provider of streaming videos was named the chassis sponsor.
However, it was not warmly received by the supporters. While several criticized the name’s excessive commercialization, the majority insisted—possibly correctly—that the majority will still just refer to the team as Sauber.
Presumably, the team is considering another name change in response to the reaction. Sauber hinted at a second announcement on January 1st in a surprise social media statement on Tuesday.
“It seems our recently released team name has been getting a lot of attention…” teased the announcement. “While we’re not ready to unveil the final result yet, we are aware of what’s at stake.
“Rest assured, we’re on a mission to unleash the most exciting team identity this team has ever seen.
“Gone are the days of the short and sweet.
“We’re cooking up a feast.”
The tweet contained the date January 1st, 2024, which denotes the next disclosure in the ongoing mystery about Sauber’s identity.
Using the phrase ‘serving’ to hint at the date and tagging sponsor Stake.com, the abundance of puns about food raises the possibility that the announcement has to do with food.
Additionally, Sauber continues to feature the Alfa Romeo branding on its accounts which is quite peculiar.
Whatever form the team takes when it kicks off the 2024 campaign, it will only last a short while. The Sauber team will completely change into the Audi works team starting in the 2026 season as the German automaker makes its official debut in Formula One.
Sauber Group Managing Director and team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi recently provided an explanation regarding why Audi decided to hold off on making a major announcement for another two years.
“It’s not a limbo period – we build our future here and now, it’s not that there is a separation between the Sauber period and the Audi period,” he said. “We are working since the beginning of the year with our group CEO Andreas Seidl for this transformation process.
“The entry of Audi in Formula 1 as of 2026 is big news for the entire F1 community, not just important for Sauber to be chosen as a strategic partner. I think all Formula 1 will benefit from this.”
The team’s new adventure without Alfa Romeo’s partnership is expected to result in a significantly different livery for 2024 given the emergence of Stake and Kick in recent months.
“Sauber has always been about innovation, breaking the mould and defying convention,” said Bravi. “The partnership with Kick.com is the latest and boldest display of the philosophy that drives us.
“Kick.com is redefining the way live streaming is done and they will adopt the same disruptive approach in the world of Formula 1. With Kick.com, our goal is to make the next step in finding new and innovative ways to get closer to our fans.”