Formula 1 2016: Sauber May Become Alfa Romeo


Sauber F1 Team May Become Alfa Romeo

As the fourth oldest active team in Formula 1, it would be a shame if Sauber folded amid swirling rumors of the team’s financial turmoil. Now, however, a new rumor is emerging that a savior for Sauber has been found. Namely, Ferrari, who may adopt the Swiss team as a de-facto “junior” squad with Alfa Romeo badging.

In better days, Sauber was the team that brought Mercedes-Benz back to Formula 1, won a Grand Prix as the BMW werks team, and delivered so many thrilling drives from Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez that the latter earned a spot, briefly, as McLaren’s bright new star. Lately, though, the only reasons that Sauber makes headlines are bad ones: financial struggles, failure to make payroll, missed test dates, lack of development, etc. Most recently, it was rumored that Sauber might not even make it to the Chinese GP.

Similarly, Alfa Romeo also has a storied history in Grand Prix racing- and Scuderia Ferrari actually began as an Alfa Romeo team way back in 1929. As Alfa brought Ferrari to Formula 1, Ferrari bringing Alfa Romeo back would make for a terrific story!

Check out the artist’s rendering- from GrandPrix 24/7- at the top of the page, then let us know how you think the return of Alfa Romeo would impact the future of Formula 1 in the comments section at the bottom of the page.


Source | Images: GrandPrix 24/7.

About the Author

I’ve been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.

  • Steve Hanley

    They can rebadge the cars as Teslas. Won’t make them any faster. : – (

    Doesn’t Ferrari already have a junior team? It’s called Haas F1, I believe.

    • Mike Hockurtz

      Seriously? So all manufacturers who don’t have their own engines are “junior” teams now? Guess that means all through the Seventies, every car with a DFV in it was a “Ford Junior team,” right?

      Sure. And Red Bull is a watch manufacturer.

      Choose your battles, mate.

      • Steve Hanley

        Not sure what your point is. All i said was that calling the cars Alfa Romeos won’t make them any faster.

        • Don’t feed the trolls, Steve. Some people are just looking for fights.

  • Would be cool when you steal photos/graphics from other sites then you credit them

    • You must not have noticed “source / images: GrandPrix 24/7” at the bottom of the article (with a link back to the original post) and the paragraph that reads “Check out the artist’s rendering- from GrandPrix 24/7- at the top of the page, then let us know how you think the return of Alfa Romeo would impact the future of Formula 1 in the comments section at the bottom of the page.”

      It’s cool, though. We don’t need to give you pageviews in the future.

      • Apologies we were wrong thanks for the credit

  • It would be nice to see the team, whatever it’s called, have some decent backing to develop a more competitive car.

    • Steve Hanley

      Or they could just buy last year’s car from Ferrari. That strategy has worked pretty well for Haas!

      • That’s really a disingenuous statemend, really. If you know the actual breakdown of Haas F1’s car, at least.

        • Steve Hanley

          Disingenous it may be, Joe, but it originates with no less a person than Bernie Ecclestone.

          I think I am pretty well informed about what’s going on in the sport, being an active member of several forums including F1 Techical. I can assure you that the whole pitlane is buzzing about Haas F1 and the rules that allow such an organization to qualify as a “constructor.”

          There are lots of folks at the highest levels of the sport who are not at all pleased by the Haas situation. I don’t just make this stuff up.

          • Oh, I don’t think you’re making it up, Steve. I understand the position that much of the pit lane has about this. I’m also on the fence (leaning slightly away) about the whole customer car issue. But, while Hass F1 does have a nontrivial amount of Ferrari innerds, I don’t believe it’s enough to consider them a Ferrari team. The chasey is as much, or more, significant as the power unit (just ask Feb Bull). Does having the extra Ferrari parts help? Sure. Is it an unfair advantage? I don’t think so.

          • Steve Hanley

            Thanks, Joe. If nothing else, this issue gives us something to talk about while the sport tries to think of new ways to shoot itself in the foot.

            The real conversation should be about why so many teams are in financial trouble and what, if anything, to do about it?

          • True enough. I think that part of the reason most of the non-premier teams are in constant trouble is that they are always on the short end of the stick. In order to make money you have to spend money (side note: How do you make $1M in F1? Start with $10M). They should look at something to help support the Manor’s and Sauber’s, et. al., maybe along the lines of revenue sharing (NFL/MLB).

            Just a thought.

          • Steve Hanley

            More than just a thought. It exposes one of the greatest weaknesses of the sport. Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and Red Bull wouldn’t mind if they were the only 4 teams in the sport with three or four cars in each team.

            F1 SAYS it wants more teams, but it makes it almost impossible for them to survive. NASCAR pays points money to every car that starts a race. It doesn’t seem to have any problem attracting full grids. The F1 scheme is just stupid.

        • Take it up with Bernie.

      • I don’t see why the teams/sport are so against the idea of customer cars. If it means better racing and the chance to bring in fresh, exciting talent- then why not do it?

        • Steve Hanley

          I think the issue, Jo, is that these customer cars are not CALLED customer cars. There is a pretense that the new kids on the block are building every piece of the car themselves and they are not.

          The real issue, as always, is money. Teams like Williams and Sauber and Farce India and Manor live and die on the money they get for scoring points in the constructors championship. They are seriously annoyed that Hass’ success (which makes me very happy, btw) will cost them millions. Nothing like taking money out of someone’s pocket to make them grumpy.

          If the sport wanted to devise a new classification for customer cars that did NOT cost the small teams money, I don’t think anyone would have a problem with it.

          In prior years, Haas would not qualify as a constructor and would not be entitled to share in the constructor’s championship rewards. It’s all about the bucks — as usual.

          • Well, you hit the nail on the head there. It’s always about the money. And greed is the biggest detriment to the sport.