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Alfa Romeo appoint new F1 team representative

Seidl: Audi provides everyone at Sauber with stability

Alfa Romeo appoint new F1 team representative
Sauber CEO Andreas Seidl believes the arrival of Audi as a strategic partner in 2026 is a factor providing the group with stability and a clear direction forward.

It’s been six weeks since Andreas Seidl took over as CEO at Sauber in a period when the Hinwil-based organization is building towards 2026 when their announced partnership with Audi in Formula 1 will be fully effective.

Audi and Sauber are ramping up their preparations for 2026, as the German automaker bought a minority stake in Sauber as another milestone on their way towards a complete partnership.

In an interview released by Sauber, Seidl was asked about the importance of Audi coming on board; he said: “It’s very significant because it provides everyone at Sauber with stability and a clear direction of travel.

“As a Group we know that we have a great future ahead of us, at the same time all our focus is on the here and now, on performing short term in the coming season with Alfa Romeo and on continuing our successful partnership with Ferrari for the next three years,” he explained.

Sauber and Alfa Romeo will mark their sixth year as F1 partners in 2023, the Italian brand announcing their plans to leave the sport at the end of this season.

Asked to reflect on the Alfa Romeo partnership, Seidl said: “Sauber Motorsport’s title partnership with Alfa Romeo has been a success on and off the track: it has evolved into a model of technical and commercial partnership and has by far exceed expectations over the past five years.

“The relationship has allowed us to grow a global promotional platform that has contributed to increasing our standing and credibility with partners and sponsors.

“Our aim for this year is, together with Alfa Romeo, to continue improving the team’s on-track results and see Alfa Romeo’s fantastic activation programme coming to life during 2023, a plan we’re excited to share in the coming weeks and months,” the German revealed.

Zhou Guanyu complements Valtteri Bottas

On the drivers’ front, Alfa Romeo will have the same pairing as in 2023, with Valtteri Bottas on his second season while Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu has graduated from the rookie zone as he also gears up for his second season with the team.

Asked to point out the greatest strengths of the team’s drivers, Seidl said: “Most importantly, they are both fast!

“That’s the biggest thing for a driver. But they are also impressive people and I’ve had some very interesting chats with them about the team,” he added.

On Bottas, a ten-time grand prix winner who joined from Mercedes; Seidl said: “Valtteri’s experience and race-winning knowledge are great assets for us which, combined with his focus and commitment, will help us to further develop as a team. But he’s also a fun guy to be around.

“Zhou complements Valtteri well,” the former McLaren team principal went on. “I like a mix of youth and experience in a driver line-up, and Zhou proved last year that he deserves his place in Formula 1.

“He showed continuous improvement,” Seidl insisted. “F1 is such a big step up from anything that drivers have experienced in the junior formulas and Zhou is used to this environment now.

“I am looking forward to seeing the next step from his side going into his second F1 season with us,” concluded.

Bottas and Zhou are now getting ready to test the team’s 2023 F1 car, the C43, over the three-day pre-season test in Bahrain scheduled between February 23 and 25.