Next year you won’t see the Alfa Romeo brand on the Formula 1 grid. The automaker returned to the sport for the 2018 season, but its partnership with Sauber ended last month after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The team will instead resurrect its Sauber name for the 2024 season, officially calling itself the Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber, after signing a sponsorship deal with the streaming platform Kick.com. The car will be called the Kick Sauber C44. The Sauber name might not stick around for long as the team will become the new factory Audi endeavor for the 2026 season.
Audi’s arrival on the grid will coincide with substantial changes planned for F1’s engine and chassis regulations. Sauber will continue to use Ferrari engines until 2026, when Audi arrives with its own power unit. The German automaker’s new CEO, Gernot Dollner, recently reaffirmed the company’s commitment to join F1 in two years.
Sauber first entered F1 in 1993, operating under its own name until 2006 when it became BMW Sauber. The pair split in 2009, but the team competed under the name for the 2010 season. In 2011, it dropped BMW, competing with the Sauber name until partnering with Alfa Romeo in 2018, running under the name Alfa Romeo Sauber. In 2019 it dropped the Sauber name altogether, becoming Alfa Romeo Racing.
While Alfa Romeo won’t return to the grid next year, its drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, will. Every team is entering the new season with the same driver lineup. Bottas ended the 2023 season in 15th with 10 points, while Zhou finished with 6 points in 18th place. Alfa came in 9th in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of last-place Hass.
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