Alfa Romeo announced this morning that they will continue their partnership with Sauber into 2021. Although not...
Alfa Romeo Racing
Alfa Romeo Racing
The team formerly known as Sauber has made a step forward since the team was taken over by Alfa Romeo and with Kimi Raikkonen it has an important figurehead. Will the team be able to take the next step in 2020 or will it succumb to the financial war towards 2021?
|Team Name||Alfa Romeo Racing|
|Team Leader||Frédéric Vasseur|
|Technical Leader||Axel Kruse|
Who drives for Alfa Romeo Racing in Formula 1?
In 2020 Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi will fill the seats at the Italian team. At 40 years of age Kimi is the oldest driver in the field, but with one world title and 25 victories certainly not the worst driver. In 2020, the old Finn once again showed what he's made of by easily keeping his young teammate under his thumb.
As a Ferrari junior, Giovinazzi is a candidate for the future at Ferrari and his Italian heritage certainly helps. A messy road to Formula 1 and a far from smooth debut year, however, doesn't lead to high expectations of Giovinazzi.
Rise of a mid engine in F1
After years of being active in Le Mans (and having achieved success there), Peter Sauber made the switch to Formula 1. Not as in Le Mans with engines from Mercedes, 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 that bore the Mercedes name.
Only one year the collaboration lasted and it was Mercedes that pulled the plug. Sauber switched to Ford engines in the 1995 season and also saw another well-known name from the current grid: Red Bull.
The energy drinks manufacturer bought a part of the shares of Sauber, after which the Swiss race stable should achieve better results. At first it succeeded, but one year later Sauber dropped back again. Engine supplier Ford was pushed aside and this time Ferrari was allowed to try to turn the tide.
An approach like the one Haas has nowadays could be seen at Sauber until 2005. Almost all parts that could be taken over from Ferrari were bought over. As long as the chassis was made in-house, the FIA 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 cars. The Finn would neatly finish tenth in his rookie season, but not before Red Bull had sold all shares. The energy drinks manufacturer would be on the grid with its own team a few years later.
In the same year, 2005, BMW took over a stake in Sauber and in 2006 appeared with engines from the German manufacturer at the start. During this period Sauber won their only ever race, with Robert Kubica taking victory in Canada in 2008.
Since 2010 the engine supplier has stayed the same, but it has been a coming and going of drivers. The Swede Marcus Ericsson remained the regular face until 2019, but the other seat at Sauber saw a new occupant almost every season. It didn't matter much for the results, since Sauber hasn't made it past sixth place among the constructors since returning to Ferrari.
Alfa Romeo Racing
In 2017 Frederic Vasseur took the helm of Sauber and started a major cleanup. One that would last the rest of the season and the fruits of which could only be picked in the next season. At the end of the year it was also announced that the once so close collaboration with Ferrari would be strengthened again and Sauber would be on the grid as Alfa Romeo-Sauber from the 2018 season onwards. Part of that collaboration was the hiring of Charles Leclerc as racer, next to Marcus Ericsson.
Points were picked up on the assembly line, mainly by Ferrari-junior Leclerc. The Monegasque only stayed at Sauber for one year, before Ferrari announced that Leclerc will move on to the team from Maranello. Kimi Raikkonen is thrown out and joins the team where he started his Formula 1 career in 2001.
Next to the Finn was Ferrari protégé Antonio Giovinazzi, as part of the renaming Alfa Romeo-Sauber. The drivers' duo will have the task of using all their experience to make Sauber a recurring face in the subtop, albeit under the name of Alfa Romeo Racing.
In 2019 Alfa Romeo was once again be eighth in the standings. It remains to be seen whether the team will be able to take another step forward in 2020 with the new developments.
Which engine does Alfa Romeo Racing ride?
As a customer team of Ferrari, Sauber drives with the power source of the Italians in Formula 1. Last season the Ferrari 064 was in the back of the C38 and next season the latest specification of the Italian engine will also be found in the C39.
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