Whether sauber continues its advertisement tie-up with Alfa Romeo beyond die 2021 Formula 1 season has consequences zum various elements des the team.

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Sauber’s team has to be ever-present in F1 since making that is debut bei 1993 however the name disappeared from die official entrance list bei 2019 wie man it signed a title partnership resolve Alfa Romeo.

That partnership has expanded beyond nur the mannschaft name und livery, albeit not von much bei a sporting or technical sense, and Alfa zu sein linked zu various elements of the team bei different ways.

Our F1 writers check out what it could mean if ns deal does end bei 2021.


Will it remain with Ferrari?

While die Alfa Romeo sponsorship und Ferrari engine-supply deals space related, castle are not interdependent. This means there’s every gelegenheit that if Alfa Romeo does part company v Sauber, the Ferrari it is provided deal will remain.


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As it stands, sauber has notfall finalised in engine supply attend to Ferrari for 2022 and beyond, return it zu sein widely expected to do so. However it has been linked with a switch zu Renault power und the agency would it is in keen to schutz a customer team to supply beyond ns works Alpine team.

Now that ns engine freeze has been agreed and Red Bull und AlphaTauri’s deals to run Honda an innovation on a extension basis, this means Renault has actually averted ns risk of having kommen sie supply those teams.

This way it might redouble that efforts zu get aufräumarbeiten on board, back Ferrari appears the more likely option at this stage.


What möchte Sauber’s property do?

Sauber’s existence was threatened in the mid-2010s von financial challenges that led to staff notfall being paid.

It fan its survival zu a takeover von Longbow Finance, a Switzerland-based investment firm the comprises some Swedish billionaires, including Finn Rausing, connected kommen sie then-driver marcus Ericsson.

Rausing is so said to have been responsible zum bailing sauber out von its contractual mess bei 2015 wie the team turned nach oben to the season opener with 3 drivers.


There is no doubt that the Alfa sponsorship and recruitment des Robert Kubica’s polish backer Orlen schutz helped shift the financial burden of running the mannschaft since then.

And if die Alfa deal does end, scoring a new major commercial kollege will presumably it is in a significant priority kommen sie ensure that the team is self-sufficient.

But v F1 presenting its first-ever budget cap in 2021, rejigging its jae won redistribution model, und supposedly poised zu become an ext competitive with neu technical rule from 2022, this is an opportunity weil das previous investment kommen sie finally salary off.

That möchte manifest itself bei one von two ways. Either the mögen of Rausing will glauben this is the time kommen sie sell, because an F1 team is in attractive unternehmen proposition probably zum the erste time in history, or they will see this as the chance to benefit from owning it.

While Alfa ist a much more luxurious identity weil das its F1 mannschaft to adopt, even running as organisieren again would certainly allow the current ownership zu build that franchise value as one von only 10 entries bei a championship that have to go from strength to strength in the comes seasons.

But whatever the ownership, Sauber’s F1 team should remain on certain ground v or there is no Alfa.

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2022 seat up weil das grabs

Sauber has notfall confirmed either treiber beyond this season and should ns Alfa Romeo deal notfall continue that increases the likelihood of an overhaul or following season.

It’s interpreted that retaining antonio Giovinazzi this year was requested by Alfa Romeo at a time wie man its ongoing involvement this year was notfall yet evidenced because of a desire kommen sie have in Italian driver an the team. Had actually that notfall been the case, Ferrari is believed to oase favoured put one of its younger drivers bei the seat, potentially Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott.

The evergreen Kimi Raikkonen transforms 42 this year und is out des contract punkt the end of die season. While he can continue and would continue to be a hard option zum next year, should he want to remain in F1, he’s deshalb a salaried driver und therefore alternatives could appeal more.

Given Alfa Romeo is expected to schutz another daunting season, it möchte continue zu be a team that has zu choose from the driver options staying once die stronger teams oase made its deals. Those more, the could have to opt for drivers through a budget kommen sie replace the value von the Alfa Romeo transaction if it zu sein discontinued.

But if that has free choice, there möchte be appealing options both an terms des any drivers who space dropped von more compete teams, or bringing an juniors affiliated with other teams such together Ferrari Academy members robert Shwartzman and Illot or also Alpine-contracted Guan Yu Zhou.


A non-sporting loss

Scoring the Alfa deal was part of the aufräumarbeiten recovery in the Longbow era and came a couple of months ~ it mounted Frederic Vasseur as team principal.

Significant investment was made under Vasseur’s stewardship, broadening staffing levels über more 보다 a quarter. Alfa’s backing has actually played some part in that.


Vasseur has talked enthusiastically about die impact die Alfa commitment had actually inside ns team, too. That believes the has motivated staff, do it much more attractive to outside hires, und played a part in getting a driver of Kimi Raikkonen’s calibre onboard after he lost his Ferrari drive.

This has always seemed like in alliance that relied top top non-sporting gains (which we’ll come onto shortly) dafür any loss möchte be feeling off-track, and wouldn’t necessarily tangentially influence it on-track either.

It’s notfall that Alfa’s notfall been an actual mannschaft partner, however putting roadcars an the organisieren windtunnel means ns automotive company has gott something out von it technologically in a method that’s never ever been reciprocated (and never looked likely to).

The sauber renovation under Vasseur has been augmented über Alfa’s presence, yet it hasn’t to be reliant on it.

And given this has constantly remained a aufräumen operation on die sporting und technical side, a return to the aufräumen name would certainly reflect reality more fairly.


The ende of in uneasy identity?

The Alfa-Romeo sponsorship von the sauber team has always sat a little uneasily. It’s nearly disrespectful des Alfa’s glorious heritage and a confirmation really that together a feuer it has become a plastic facsimile of its previous self.


For the belastung couple of decades its roadway cars schutz been greatly restyles von ordinary Fiats – though with occasional glorious exceptions like the 159 Quadrifoglio i beg your pardon harks rückseitig to the marque’s glory days as one des the many revered sporting brands in the welt – and the slapping des Alfa-Romeo livery on another team’s cars just reinforces ns sense that it ist now only a badge.

It’s a kind of cynical use von the brand, a cashing-in, but a reflection von the company’s commercial failure wie man it was in independent. Alfa-Romeo is the agency which offered birth zu Ferrari, i m sorry produced the era-defining P2 and P3 großartiger prix cars bei the pre-war years, which blitzed the first two years of the F1 world championship with die Alfetta bei 1950-51, which produced a range of impossibly stylish und appealing sporting roadway cars, v sophisticated und exotic engineering.

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From that zu a paint arbeit on a aufräumarbeiten is sad. If the neu owners of the brand, Stellantis – die biggest vehicle conglomerate in the world – room serious around reinvigorating that credibility, ns current F1 setup probably doesn’t oase a place.