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Sauber announces Alfa Romeo as new title sponsor for 2018

Written by  Nov 29, 2017

Sauber has announced historic Italian carmaker Alfa Romeo will become a title sponsor from the start of 2018 as part of a technical partnership with links to engine supplier Ferrari.

Chairman of Ferrari and Alfa Romeo and CEO of parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Sergio Marchionne has been keen to see the return of the Alfa name to Formula 1 for the first time since 1985 and this deal is part of a closer relationship between the Swiss team and Italian company.

It is also expected the partnership will see the arrival of the F2 champion and Ferrari Academy member Charles Leclerc, with talks ongoing over the second seat, which is believed to be between current Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson and Ferrari third driver Antonio Giovinazzi.

Commenting on Alfa's comeback, Marchionne saw this is a significant moment for the company as they look ahead to the future.

“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," he claimed.

"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 Alfa Romeo engineers and technicians, who have already demonstrated their capabilities with the newly-launched models, Giulia and Stelvio, will have the opportunity to make that experience available to the Sauber F1 Team.

"At the same time, Alfa Romeo fans will once again have the opportunity to support an automaker that is determined to begin writing an exciting new chapter in its unique, legendary sporting history.”

From a Sauber perspective, this also signifies a key moment in the rebuilding of their operation, after the takeover by Longbow Finance in the summer of 2016.

A decision to use year-old Ferrari engine this year left them struggling at the back of the grid and bottom of the Constructors' standings but with the latest unit in the back from next year and an overhaul of their technical team, major progress can be expected next year.

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