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Alfa Romeo has confirmed that their partnership with sister-team Sauber will be terminated at the end of 2023.
Earlier today, Audi, part of the Volkswagen group, confirmed that they would be entering Formula 1 from the year 2026. Audi, and Porsche who are set to partner with Red Bull, were waiting for the new engine regulations to be confirmed.
The World Motorsport Council approved the regulations last week, prompting today’s announcement. Audi had been in talks with a couple of teams to partner with.
However, the latest speculation is that Audi will partner with Sauber. No mention of this potential partnership was in the announcement of Audi’s F1 entry.
But since then, Alfa Romeo have communicated the termination of their partnership with Sauber Motorsport.
In a press release on Stellantis, a media website, news of Alfa Romeo’s decision broke. The statement said:
“Alfa Romeo communicates that its partnership with Sauber Motorsport will end within the end of 2023.”
Earlier this year, in July, Alfa Romeo did decide to extend its partnership with Sauber. The press release commented on this decision. It stated it was due “to the promising results of the first half of the season, both in terms of performances, marketing and positive collaboration with the team.”
However, “since the economic and industrial turnaround of the brand will be achieved in 2022,” evaluation needs to happen. The statement said that Alfa Romeo will “now evaluate among the many opportunities on the table”. From there, they will “decide which will be the best one to sustain the long term strategy and the positioning of the Brand.”
Back in July, Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of Alfa Romeo, said that “any negotiation on the engine, any negotiation and anything in terms of partnership is led by Fred Vasseur and Sauber, in the best interests of Sauber.”
Audi have only announced their entry as an engine provider, having a powertrain base in Neuburg whilst they will use Sauber’s existing site in Hinwil for the chassis development. But with Audi’s links to Sauber, it’s likely that there will be an announcement at the end of the year to confirm Audi and Sauber’s partnership.
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