Alfa Romeo has announced the latest step in its renaissance: returning to Formula One after more than 30 years’ absence, with an eye to all the tactical benefits that will likely follow.
Want an explanation? One look at how Mercedes-AMG has used its F1 success to grow its road division is all the real-world example you need.
Alfa Romeo and the Swiss ‘Sauber F1’ team have entered into a multi-year partnership agreement covering “strategic, commercial and technological cooperation”.
The official name will be Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, and it’ll launch in the 2018 Formula 1 world championship.
The single-seaters will sport the distinctive colors and logo of Alfa Romeo, the team’s Title Sponsor, and will be equipped with 2018 Ferrari power units.
FCA says the scope of the agreement includes strategic, commercial and technological cooperation in all applicable areas of development, including access to engineering know-how and the expertise of Alfa Romeo technical staff.
“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,” FCA head Sergio Marchionne said.
“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.”
Alfa Romeo is one of the major protagonists in Formula 1 history, and brings with it a large and passionate fan base.
The champion of the pre-war Grand Prix (in 1925, the GP Tipo 2 dominated the first World Championship), Alfa Romeo participated in Formula 1 from 1950 to 1988, both as a constructor and engine supplier.
Immediately upon its debut, Alfa Romeo won the first two drivers’ world championships, in 1950 and 1951, with drivers Nino Farina and Juan Manuel Fangio. From 1961 to 1979, Alfa Romeo participated as engine supplier to several F1 teams.
Following its return as a constructor in 1979, Alfa Romeo achieved its best result in 1983, taking sixth place in the constructors’ championship.
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