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The big change at Sauber took time to unfold. The purchase by Longbow Financial, the ousting of Monisha Kaltenborn and acquisition of Fred Vassuer. The near-miss engine deal with Honda that was canceled at the eleventh hour and supplanted with Ferrari that ultimately turned into a full team sponsorship and name change to Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team.

It hasn’t been easy but in the long run, it is/was the right move. Now the team have released a concept livery and they have announced that Charles Leclerc and Marcus Ericsson will be the drivers for 2018 with Antonio Giovinazzi as the third driver displacing Pascal Werhlein.

It will be Ericsson’s fifth year in F1 and Leclerc’s first. Leclerc and Giovinazzi come to Alfa Romeo Sauber naturally as Ferrari junior driver academy talent and if rumors are to be believed, Ericsson’s ties with Longbow Financial have assured him the remaining seat.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry focusing on technology integration, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.

  • Paul KieferJr

    ….and that leaves us with the one remaining Williams drive.

  • subcritical71

    I’ve never liked this rebadged engine trend. We might as well have a spec engine and rebadge those. If you are going to get credit for as an engine manufacturer, make an engine! Maybe something like the 50% rule for construction. This applies to TAG also.

    • FryDaddy

      I wouldn’t disagree with the sentiment.

      Imho pretty much impossible with the current spec PU, but the next gen proposal looks much more viable for teams like AM, who already have their own PU development and manufacturing ability.

      • Tom Firth

        @subcritical71:disqus @johnpierrerivera:disqus @russfryman:disqus Whilst i understand the sentiment, it isn’t anything new. We had Osella and Arrows in 1987 running rebadged BMW’s for example as Megatron.

        Then was Mecachrome, Playlife, Supertec with rebadged Renaults in the late 90s (Ok you can argue a tiny bit about Mecachrome but the others were simple rebadges) then Acer, Petronas, European and Asiatech in the 2000s with rebadged Ferrari and Peugeot engines.

        TAG Heuer and Alfa Romeo just join that list, right?

        • Salvu Borg

          interesting detail read google “top 10 rebadged f1 engines”

          • Salvu Borg

            It had to be FERRARI’S rebranding of Sauber by one of the company’s own famous brands to stir some people’s suddenly discovered dislike for such brandings.

          • Tom Firth

            Are probably far more examples via Google. This was just what I could remember when thinking about it.

        • subcritical71

          I realize and understand what your saying. My main point was that to be a constructor you have to comply with certain requirements but to be an engine manufacturer you just need to be good with making a well designed badge and have someone that can pop rivet (or maybe sticky tape) the badge on for you. Something seems philosophically wrong with that. Why not just sponsor the car at that point.
          I haven’t seen it in Swahili, but team names used to have the engine name at the end. Did they stop that practice?

        • FryDaddy

          Well put

        • Paul KieferJr

          “Megatron”? The Transformers got in on this? >rimshot<

    • I agree, the re-badging thing is for the birds. i drive a new Gulia and it doesn’t really resonate that the inline 4 turbo in my car is the one that will be in the sauber. or rather has nothing to do with the one under the bonnet

  • FryDaddy

    Pretty livery.

  • has anyone seen the pic at motorsport.com. I have to say this is the best looking F1 that hasn’t even turned a wheel yet… Obviously the above is the correct livery, but Sauber/Alfa should seriously consider the all red one, imho….. we already have and all-white car on the grid…

    • subcritical71

      I like the red, Motorsport.com version, better also. It would symbolize the link with Ferrari a bit better.

      • Tom Firth

        The Motorsport.com render is certainly more reminiscent of the traditional racing colours, and the exact renders are very reminiscent of Alfa Romeo’s touring car exploits in the 1990s/2000s.

        Whatever they do, they must carry the Quadrifoglio (Four leaf clover) badge on the car.

        • for sure…..

          • Tom Firth

            Although that said, with Santander leaving Ferrari. May be more red and less white on the Ferrari in the coming years.

  • James Pancoast

    Sounds like Werhlein…

    .. F’d with the Swede…

    *puts sunglasses on*

    • subcritical71

      Zing!

    • Salvu Borg

      Mercedes paid Euro 10m for Pascal at Sauber.
      Sauber paid Euro 17m for year old FERRARI engines this year.
      Honda offered Sauber engines for Euro 8m, and McLaren asked Sauber Euro 8m for gearbox.

  • Salvu Borg

    Alfa Romeo and FERRARI are both owned by FCA, so there is little or no chance both would build a F1 engine, Same goes for Porsche and Lamborghini both owned by VW. Aston Martin mostly relies on M-B for their road going car engines and are barely profitable, good luck hoping they’ll spend millions on an F1 engine no matter what it costs, it looks like that as soon as Aston Martin broke even its boss with some ticklish from the spiceman had a sudden rush of blood to the head.
    There will be a lot of blab blab blab to simplify engines and reduce cost, but fundamentally what we have today is what we will have in 2021, or else the season will be run for formula 2 cars and teams.

    • subcritical71

      Minor correction, Ferrari are no longer owned by FCA. They were spun off early last year and are now their own company. In saying that they share the same CEO and most likely have a lot of overlap on the BoD and controlling shareholders. Therefore, while separate legally they are very much still entwined operationally and strategically.

  • Salvu Borg

    STR going to start off with the Honda engine had much less to lose by going for both drivers with no F1 experience then Sauber returning with a proven and up-to-date engine (complete powertrain). Sauber needed at least one of its drivers with F1 experience.
    (Ericsson-Wehrlein) If Wehrlein doesn’t get the Williams seat he is gone for good. Wehrlein was a no go for Sauber with their new Alfa Romeo branding.
    But apart from all that, I don’t believe that Ericsson is as bad as some makes him out to be. statistics compared with his team mate (Wehrlein) shows very little between the two, and certainly not in qualifying, differences being one of the smallest between team mates at 0.04%.
    At the later part of the season a story was circulating about Sauber team having discovered that Wehrlein was getting outside help to gain an advantage and beat his team mate, he was always constantly asking about tyre temp’s so as to adjust his driving up/dawn. but never letting the team know why or how.