Who will drive for Alfa Romeo Racing in Formula 1?
Bottas and Zhou will fill the seats at the Italian racing team in 2022. Although Bottas failed to consistently challenge Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes in recent years, he showed his qualities on several occasions during qualifying. It is therefore expected that Bottas will play an important role in the future success of Alfa Romeo.
Zhou, on the other hand, brings a lot of potential with him. The driver has previously shown that he has many skills that he should continue to develop in the coming years in Formula 1. Looking at previous rookies, Zhou can count on a difficult period in which many people will form an opinion about him, but his talent should be the deciding factor.
After years of being active in Le Mans (and achieving success there), Peter Sauber made the move to Formula 1. He didn’t use engines from Mercedes like Le Mans, but initially with power sources from Ilmor. One year later, Mercedes bought a stake in the British manufacturer and Sauber appeared at the start of the season with engines bearing Mercedes' name.
The partnership only lasted one year: it was Mercedes that pulled the plug. Sauber switched to Ford's engines in 1995 and also saw another familiar name from the current grid step aboard: Red Bull. The energy drink manufacturer bought up part of Sauber's shares, after which the Swiss racing team achieved better results. Initially, they succeeded, but a year later Sauber slumped again. Engine supplier Ford was pushed aside and this time Ferrari could try to turn the tide.
An approach similar to what Haas have these days, was seen at Sauber until 2005. It bought almost all parts from Ferrari. It turned out not to be a problem for the FIA. As long as it made the chassis itself, the organisation saw no problem in the controversial approach.
A very young Kimi Raikkonen appeared at Sauber in 2001 and took a seat in one of the two seats. The Finn shocked many and finished tenth in his rookie season, but not before Red Bull had sold all the shares.
That same year, 2005, BMW took over a stake in Sauber and appeared at the start of 2006 with engines from the German manufacturer. It was a partnership that also lasted only a few years, before BMW announced its departure from Formula One. Between 2006 and 2009 Sauber did not compete in the championship and in 2010 it returned to the grid with engines from Ferrari.
Alfa Romeo Racing
In 2017, Frederic Vasseur came to the helm of Sauber and began a major clean-up. This would last for the rest of the season. Only in the following season would it reap the benefits. At the end of the year, they revealed they will be reestablishing their once close partnership with Ferrari and Sauber would be on the grid as Alfa Romeo-Sauber from 2018. Part of that partnership was the hiring of Charles Leclerc as a racer, alongside Marcus Ericsson.
Points were gained by the team in that year mainly because of Leclerc, who then became Raikkonen's replacement at Ferrari in 2019. Raikkonen returned to the team where he made his debut in 2001. Next to 'The iceman' they put Ferrari protégé Antonio Giovinazzi, as part of the conversion to Alfa Romeo-Sauber. The driving duo had the task of using its experience to take the Sauber to the top of the midfield, albeit under the Alfa Romeo Racing name.
In 2019, Alfa Romeo once again reached eighth place in the standings and picked up a lot of points especially before the winter break. After this, Giovinazzi gained some more points, but the lack of finances still broke the racing team. The years 2020 and 2021 were extremely difficult for the Swiss team, also due to the coronavirus crisis, but in 2022, the team hopes to change that.
Which engine will Alfa Romeo Racing use?
As a customer team of Scuderia Ferrari, Sauber runs with the Italian's power unit in Formula 1. The latest specification of the Italian engine will also be found in the car next season, with which it hopes to achieve great success.