Alfa Romeo say they will end their title sponsorship of Sauber when their current agreement expires at the end of the 2023 Formula 1 campaign.
The famed Italian brand returned to Formula 1 in 2018 through a technical and commercial partnership and announced a multi-year extension with “annual reviews” in the summer of 2021.
Last month they chose to continue into 2023 “given the promising results of the first half of the season, in terms of performance, marketing and positive collaboration with the team”.
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But ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, with about a season and a half to go under the current agreement, Alfa Romeo took the opportunity to put an end date on their relationship with Sauber.
“As the brand’s economic and industrial turnaround will be achieved in 2022, Alfa Romeo will now evaluate one of the many opportunities on the table and decide which is the best to support the brand’s long-term strategy and positioning,” they said in a statement.
Alfa Romeo, which drives Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, is currently sixth in the constructors’ championship (they finished ninth last year) with 51 points.
Lawrence Barretto, F1 correspondent says…
“The Alfa Romeo association has been very helpful to the F1 team’s brand and the financial support has been helpful to improve performance, while the Italian brand is happy with the benefits it has brought to the car company.
“It’s never nice to lose a title sponsor, especially not one whose name resonates so much with motorsport and the automotive industry, not least because it means money has been lost.
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“However, I understand that the Sauber-run team are confident in their near- and medium-term future, with more details on their plans to be revealed when there’s something to say.”