Fiat group has option to buy Sauber and can close deal until mid-seasonFebruary 5, 2019
Fiat Group president John Elkann had the option of buying the recently-renamed Sauber F1 team as Alfa Romeo Racing.
A few days ago, it was announced that Alfa Romeo would increase its participation with the Sauber team by changing the team name to Alfa Romeo Racing in 2019, putting an end to the Sauber name present since 1993 in Formula 1.
The Hinwil-based company is owned by Islero Investments AG, created by Longbow Finance – which bought Sauber from Peter Sauber and Monisha Kaltenborne in 2016 – to direct the team.
Sauber increased its partnership with its Ferrari engine supplier and formed a technical and brand partnership with Alfa Romeo. According to Auto Bild, Fiat Group has paid six million euros to change the team's name in 2019, and they have until the middle of the season to decide whether they want to buy the team completely.
Such a move would likely increase the political influence that Ferrari and the Fiat Group have in expressing their views on the direction of Formula One, which will undergo a change in regulations for the 2021 season when the current Concord Agreement expires.
However, the Fiat Group may decide that such a move is not necessary. Given the close ties with Ferrari, it would be a big surprise if Alfa Romeo Racing completely deviated from Ferrari's goals for the 2021 regulations.
Alfa Romeo Racing will have the 2007 world champion for the Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari pilot Antonio Giovinazzi for the 2019 F1 season.
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