At the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo and Sauber Motorsport’s Formula 1 partnership came to an end with the conclusion of the season. After a break of almost thirty years, Alfa Romeo staged a dramatic comeback to the forefront of motorsport in 2018. This comeback signaled the start of a technological, commercial, and tactical partnership with Sauber Motorsport and set the stage for six spectacular years.
During a span of six years, the passionate and profitable partnership between Alfa Romeo and Sauber Motorsport produced remarkable moments in Formula 1. The C43 was the centerpiece of the Yas Marina circuit during these incredible years, which were made possible by the vision of the late Sergio Marchionne.
An official statement released by Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of the Italian team said, “For Alfa Romeo, this F1 adventure represented an international showcase at the highest level, as well as a profound human and sporting experience. Alfa Romeo has competition in its DNA and will return to thrill its fans as soon as possible when the conditions are right.”
The #AbuDhabiGP marked the end of the six year partnership between Alfa Romeo and Sauber Motorsport.
— Decalspotters (@decalspotters) November 27, 2023
The complete livery included the number six in recognition of the partnership with Sauber that lasted for six years. Sauber’s homage to the Alfa Romeo team was a touching “Alfa Romeo nei nostri cuori” (‘Alfa Romeo, always in our hearts’) on the livery. In F1, this team took on the responsibilities of both supplier and producer of engines previously. The legacy of the team remains an integral part of the sport’s rich tapestry.
Alfa Romeo to Sauber shift: Audi is not part of the identity in the 2024 season
In line with new engine restrictions, the Hinwil-based team announced last year that they had planned to transform into the Audi Works team in 2026. The team plans to adopt the Sauber name in 2024 as part of its long-term vision, as its existing title sponsorship with the Italian team ended this year. According to Sauber, there will be no Audi presence on the renamed Formula 1 chassis for the following season.
Audi may have had a chance to flaunt itself through the forthcoming year’s blank canvas, but Sauber made it clear that the German automaker will remain concealed from the public until 2026. Alessandro Alunni Bravi, the team principal, provided clarification in response to inquiries over the possible presence of the Audi name or sign ahead to the official entry.
“Audi will enter in 2026”
"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." pic.twitter.com/KnTOHmQ4P0
— AlfaRomeoStake News (@AlfaromeoF1Stan) November 23, 2023
He said, “No. Audi will enter in 2026. 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. We already planned the next step.”
Given this transition that is taking place, it is putting Alfa Romeo drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu‘s positions within the team at risk. There are also rumors circulating which involve Sebastian Vettel’s seat at Audi. Although the absence of interactions raised questions about Audi’s commitment, Sauber confirmed that all is perfectly clear behind the scenes.