Alfa Romeo announce 2023 end to Sauber partnership with Audi links circling

By Sports Desk August 26, 2022

Alfa Romeo have announced they will end their title sponsorship with Sauber at the end of the 2023 Formula One campaign.

The Italian manufacturers returned to the F1 paddock in 2018 with a technical and commercial partnership, with an extension in 2021 including 'multi-year assessments'.

Last month, Alfa Romeo opted to remain on the grid for the 2023 season but have now announced it will be their last.

In a statement, they said: "Since the economic and industrial turnaround of the brand will be achieved in 2022, Alfa Romeo will now evaluate among the many opportunities on the table, and decide which will be the best one to sustain the long term strategy and the positioning of the brand."

Alfa Romeo's exit paves the way for Audi's introduction, with confirmation on Friday they would join in 2026 as an engine supplier – though the wider expectation is that they will bring the four rings to the paddock as a team, with reports indicating an agreement with Sauber is 75 per cent complete.

Sauber's future on the grid in the period between the end of the sponsorship with Alfa Romeo and any potential deal with Audi is unclear, however, though they have previously raced under their own name.

Prior to the start of the agreement with Alfa Romeo, Sauber raced under their own name from 2011, and have extensive history in F1 from 1993 including partnerships with BMW, Mercedes and Red Bull.

Alfa Romeo currently sit sixth in the constructors' championship with 51 points, having finished ninth with just 13 points in 2021.

Related items

  • 'If you're not prepared, then it's better to stop' - Verstappen ready for mammoth F1 calendar 'If you're not prepared, then it's better to stop' - Verstappen ready for mammoth F1 calendar

    Max Verstappen suggests any drivers in Formula One not prepared for a record-breaking race calendar next season should consider quitting.

    The Red Bull man, who claimed a second world drivers' championship crown this term, capped his imperious year with victory at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix earlier this month.

    But the Dutchman will face a longer fight to defend his title once more next term, with F1 poised for a possible 24-race campaign, two more than in 2022.

    That has raised concerns over the fatigue drivers may face across a mammoth season, but Verstappen suggests those who do not feel they are cut out for the long haul should step back.

    "If you're not prepared, then it's better to stop already, right?" he told The Guardian. "I think we're all racers, and we love racing.

    "I think we are all prepared for longer seasons. I hope it will be tight. It's always nice to have a fight until the end. But yeah, I'm prepared for more races and for a longer fight hopefully."

    Having seen the battle for his maiden title in 2021 go down to the wire in controversial circumstances, Verstappen ultimately secured his second crown with four races to go, at the Japanese Grand Prix.

    Acknowledging it was nice to have a change of pace, the Dutchman also affirmed his hopes for a closer contest next term.

    "You can't have that drama every single year, for sure," he reflected on 2021. "It's not good for me, it's not healthy for anyone in the team, both teams.

    "Of course it's nice to have a season like I had last year, but it's also nice to have a season like I have this year.

    "It just would be very tough if you have that every single year. But that also doesn't really happen in F1, so it should be okay."

  • Red Bull announce Ricciardo return for 2023 Red Bull announce Ricciardo return for 2023

    Red Bull have announced the return of Daniel Ricciardo, who will be their third driver for the 2023 season.

    The Australian left the grid following his exit from McLaren, where he completed his final race in Abu Dhabi last Sunday, and it was widely expected that he would be returning to Red Bull, who he left in 2018.

    Ricciardo had a stint with Renault before moving to McLaren, with spells at both teams being disappointing ones, and it was announced earlier this year he would be leaving the latter – Oscar Piastri being his replacement on the grid.

    The 33-year-old did not turn his back on Formula One, however, and could return to the grid with a full-time seat in the future, though previously stated he felt the best approach could be as a reserve driver.

    That move has now come with Red Bull, where he will be an understudy to Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez in 2023 – filling in should either of the pair be unable to race, as well as competing in practice sessions.

    "The smile says it all, I'm truly excited to be coming back home to Oracle Red Bull Racing as their Third Driver in 2023," Ricciardo said.

    "I already have so many fond memories of my time here, but the welcome from Christian [Horner], Dr [Helmut] Marko and the entire team is something I'm sincerely appreciative of.

    "For me personally, the ability to contribute to and be surrounded by the best team in F1 is hugely appealing, whilst also giving me some time to recharge and refocus.

    "I can't wait to be with the team and support with simulator work, testing sessions and commercial activities. Let’s go!"

    The 2023 Formula One season will begin on March 5 in Bahrain, the start of a record-breaking 24 races across the course of the campaign.

  • Verstappen among all-time F1 greats after 15-win season, says former world champion Rosberg Verstappen among all-time F1 greats after 15-win season, says former world champion Rosberg

    Max Verstappen already ranks among Formula One's all-time greatest drivers, believes former world champion Nico Rosberg, after the Dutchman's latest triumph.

    The Red Bull man signed off on a second successive world drivers' championship crown in emphatic style with victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last weekend.

    With 15 race wins this season, Verstappen has set a new record for most victories in a single campaign, and has moved to sixth on the all-time list, overhauling Fernando Alonso.

    Now former Mercedes driver Rosberg, who won the title in 2016, thinks he deserves to be high in the conversation when it comes to determining who the sport's finest stars are.

    "He is an incredible driver," he told Sky Sports podcast Any Driven Monday. "I think it's easy to say even now that's he's going to be one of the best of all time, if you look at the statistics he actually even is now.

    "He's a double world champion [and] with all of the race wins that he has, more than Alonso, he's already one of the best of all time. I think he's only getting started.

    "He's going to confirm that in the next decade, certainly. His level of driving is phenomenal, and it's great to witness that."

    Though the latter half of his campaign was dogged by Red Bull's salary cap infringements, Verstappen's achievements nevertheless came impressively this year,

    An early title battle with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc ultimately petered out after a multitude of strategy errors from his rivals, but even before then, the Dutchman looked to have the edge.

    "We need to remember also, it's not like from the get-go this year his car was miles quicker than everyone else's," Rosberg added.

    "The Ferrari was the quickest car in the beginning of the season and still, he got this incredible 15 wins and really destroyed the opposition in that way.

    "If you look at the points, he scored 146 more than anybody else, it's unreal. It's one of the greatest driving seasons we've ever seen, certainly."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.