Sauber working with Stellantis to extend Alfa Romeo F1 deal

Sauber is working with Stellantis to extend its Alfa Romeo Formula 1 support and backing beyond the end of its existing deal in 2021.

Sauber working with Stellantis to extend Alfa Romeo F1 deal

Alfa Romeo first linked up with Sauber in 2018 as a title sponsor before an expansion of the partnership saw the team become known as Alfa Romeo Racing from 2019 onwards.

Sauber announced last October that it had extended its agreement with Alfa Romeo for a further season, but team boss Frederic Vasseur is hopeful of continuing the partnership long-term.

Talks are ongoing with the newly-formed Stellantis group, which was created by the merger of the Fiat Chrysler Group - which owned Alfa Romeo - and the PSA Group.

“I think that we have a very good and positive discussion with them to extend the contract, and I hope that we will be [continuing],” Alfa Romeo F1 chief Vasseur told Autosport's sister publication Motorsport Italy.

“They have to reorganise a little bit the situation on their side [after the merger], but I am quite happy and quite positive with the last declaration of Stellantis about the brand Alfa Romeo.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

“They want to be very supportive, and I think Alfa Romeo the brand is a huge asset for the group. It is a huge asset for F1 also at the end, because it's an iconic brand, that [was] in F1 from the beginning.

“I hope that we will be able to put everything together.”

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares revealed in May that the group was committed to continuing its investment in Alfa Romeo for the next 10 years despite having 14 brands now under its umbrella. 

Sources indicated to Autosport in January that Sauber was set to continue its technical partnership with Ferrari through to 2025, ending suggestions it could become a Renault partner team.

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Outside of F1, the partnership has seen Alfa Romeo harness Sauber Engineering’s technical abilities to assist its road car design with models such as the Giulia GTA and GTAm.

Asked about the role of external branches such as Sauber Engineering for smaller F1 squads, Vasseur felt it was an important area for the company to develop moving forward.

“It was one of the directions that we took in the last couple of months to develop the company - not just the team, but the company,” Vasseur said.

“It’s because that we have to capitalise on the asset of the F1 team to be able to develop external business. And it's a long process. It's not an easy one, because very often the F1 teams are not used to go on the ‘normal’ life!

“We had to change a little bit some mentality. But we are on the right way. We are growing up in Sauber on the third party business, and we are growing up quite quickly.

“I think quite soon, it will become a decent part of the income.”

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