The new car misses the Martini Logo.
Half an hour of driving on the A53 from Zurich gets you to Hinwil, the town where Peter Sauber founded Sauber Motorsport AG. The team’s adventure in Formula 1 started in 1993 at the South African Grand Prix, and as expected from a startup in the king motorsport, the 3.5-liter C12 didn’t manage to score a single point in 16 Grands Prix weekends.
The Swiss team somehow managed to score their first win under the brief ownership of BMW, winning the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix with the help of Robert Kubica. Of the 435 entries and 432 starts, Sauber took 27 podium finishes, 5 fastest laps, and 1 pole position.
As far as underdogs are concerned, Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team is one of the most beloved. Their means of doing business is also different compared to other teams in Formula 1, and for the 2019 season, Kimi Raikkonen returns to Hinwil after Peter Sauber gave the Finn his first test in 2000 and one of the drivers’ seats in 2001.
Antonio Giovinazzi will serve as the rookie, replacing Ferrari-bound Charles Leclerc. This pair-up could translate to a higher standing than 8th place, more so if you remember that Kimi has the skills to put up a fight against the best drivers on the grid, including Lewis Hamilton.
Prior to the C38 reveal on February 18th, Sauber announced that it would “keep fighting for ambitious results as Alfa Romeo Racing.” The change is described as SINCE 1910 on Instagram, which is somewhat confusing considering that Formula 1 didn’t exist back then, nor Alfa Romeo.
109 years ago, Alfa Romeo used to be called A.L.F.A., standing for Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili. The ridiculousness of the SINCE 1910 claim goes even further because A.L.F.A. made its competitional debut in 1911 at the Targa Florio with two 24 HP models driven by Nino Franchini and Ugo Ronzoni.
Marketing blunder aside, “the term of the collaboration has been further extended, with the ownership and management of Sauber remaining unchanged and independent.” This is great news for both Sauber and Scuderia Ferrari, which uses the Swiss team as the Prancing Horse’s roster for up-and-coming talents such as Leclerc and Giovinazzi.
Sparco also became an official partner of Alfa Romeo Racing, supplying safety gear for the pit crew and safety belts for the team’s single-seaters. The Sparco logo will be located on the sidepod floor of both C38 models, with the C honoring Peter Sauber’s wife Christine.
“We aim to continue developing every sector of our team while allowing our passion for racing, technology, and design to drive us forward,” declared team principal Frederic Vasseur. “We’re proud to collaborate with Sauber in bringing Alfa Romeo’s tradition of technical excellence and Italian panache to the pinnacle of motorsport,” concluded Mike Manley, chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.