Alfa Romeo returns to Formula 1

Well this is some excellent news: after more than 30 years away from the sport, Alfa Romeo is returning to Formula 1!

This is not a drill - Alfa back in F1!
This is not a drill - Alfa back in F1!
It'll be entering a very different world to the one it left, of course, with hybrid engines, halo devices and - dare we mention it again - that logo. Luckily it'll have an experienced team by its side in the form of Swiss outfit Sauber F1, with which the Italian marque has today signed a multi-year technical and commercial partnership agreement.

According to the press release, the deal 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." None of which means a whole lot to those of us on this side of the pit wall.

What will change for spectators going forward though is that Sauber's Ferrari-powered single-seaters will sport the distinctive colours and logo of Alfa, which will also become the team's title sponsor - now officially named Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

Speaking about the new arrangement, FCA boss Sergio Marchionne said, "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... 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."

Legendary history indeed. Alfa having won the first two drivers' world championships, in 1950 and 1951 - the latter with none other than Juan Manuel Fangio behind the wheel - before going on to enjoy further success in the sport. Next year's drivers, likely to be Marcus Ericsson and F2 world champion Charles Leclerc, will certainly have a weighty legacy to carry on their shoulders.

Now who can get Martini away from Williams?
Now who can get Martini away from Williams?
As for what this means for F1 in general, it seems that new owner Liberty Media has wasted no time in growing the sport as it promised. What with this and Aston Martin's partnership with Red Bull - with a potential engine supply deal on the cards too - things are certainly looking up. Even as other manufacturers abandon their previous racing series of choice for Formula E, Formula 1 is showing there's still plenty of life left in it yet.

There is another pleasing side to the announcement too, coming as it does during the 50th anniversary of Gordon Murray's entry into motorsport engineering and design. Murray, of course, designed several Alfa powered Brabhams during his long and successful career, including his infamous BT46 'fan car' which wore the Alfa Romeo badge on its nose.

We look forward to seeing the marque involved at the pinnacle of motorsport once again, and to finding out exactly how its experience filters down to its road cars...



[Period photos: LAT Photo]


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Comments (54) Join the discussion on the forum

  • loudlashadjuster 29 Nov 2017

    Good move, as a junior team to Ferrari, a Toro Rosso to their Red Bull, this makes a lot of sense.

  • Gemaeden 29 Nov 2017

    Why get Martini from Williams? Why not get sponsored by Parmalat as in the accompanying photo?

  • givablondabone 29 Nov 2017

    Can only be good for the sport. I wish them well.

  • Enricogto 29 Nov 2017

    Gemaeden said:
    Why get Martini from Williams? Why not get sponsored by Parmalat as in the accompanying photo?
    Because Parmalat is hardly in the position to sponsor a F1 team nowadays.

  • NJ72 29 Nov 2017

    Soo... Essentially still Sauber Ferrari, just a different logo on the nose cone...

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