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Sauber F1 team renamed Alfa Romeo Racing for 2019 season

Autosport logo Autosport 01/02/2019 Scott Mitchell

a close up of a helmet: Sauber F1 team renamed Alfa Romeo Racing © LAT Images Sauber F1 team renamed Alfa Romeo Racing A special message from MSN: 

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The Sauber name will disappear from the Formula 1 grid in 2019 as the team officially rebrands as Alfa Romeo Racing.

Alfa's title sponsorship of Sauber last year marked its first major F1 involvement since the 1985 season.

That partnership was always intended to expand onto a technical front to enable Alfa, part of the Fiat group that includes Ferrari, to become more actively involved.

The team will be entered into the 2019 world championship as Alfa Romeo Racing, effectively reviving the works entry that won the inaugural F1 titles in 1950 and '51.

It is not strictly an out-and-out factory operation, as Sauber's ownership and management remain unchanged and independent of Alfa.

a plane sitting on top of a car: Sauber F1 team renamed Alfa Romeo Racing © LAT Images Sauber F1 team renamed Alfa Romeo Racing

The cars, which will be driven by 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari test and development driver Antonio Giovinazzi, will sport Alfa's four-leaf clover emblem that denotes its high-performance vehicles.

Alfa team principal Frederic Vasseur said: "It is a pleasure to announce that we will enter the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship with the team name 'Alfa Romeo Racing'.

"After initiating the collaboration with our title sponsor Alfa Romeo in 2018, our team made fantastic progress on the technical, commercial, and sporting side.

"This has given a boost of motivation to each team member, be that track-side or at the headquarter in Switzerland, as the hard work invested has become reflected in our results.

"We aim to continue developing every sector of our team while allowing our passion for racing, technology and design to drive us forward".

The rebadged project has been tipped as the team to watch in F1 this year following its improvement with contemporary Ferrari engines and an enhanced technical effort in 2018, when it finished eighth in the constructors' championship.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley added: "Alfa Romeo Racing is a new name with a long history in Formula 1.

"We're proud to collaborate with Sauber in bringing Alfa Romeo's tradition of technical excellence and Italian panache to the pinnacle of motorsport.

"Make no mistake: with Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi on one side of the pit wall and Alfa Romeo and Sauber expertise on the other, we are here to compete."

Gallery: Sporting predictions for 2019 (Read Sport)

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