The name Alfa Romeo boasts Formula 1 connections dating back to the championship’s inception in 1950. Fast forward to the 21st century and Italian flare combines with Swiss sensibilities in a new era for the team formerly known as Sauber.
Having enjoyed considerable success in world sportscars, where he helped nurture the emerging talents of future F1 stars Michael Schumacher and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Peter Sauber guided his eponymous squad into F1 in 1993.
The team has since established itself as a mainstay of the F1 grid, becoming race winners under BMW’s brief ownership, and developing a well-earned reputation not only for producing competitive cars, but also for developing young drivers.
Progress slows, as the C38 proves frustratingly inconsistent, even with the experienced Kimi Raikkonen at the wheel. Nevertheless retain P8 in the standings, 22 of their 57 points coming at the season’s eventful penultimate round in Brazil.
Team Principal Fred Vasseur steers his squad on a surprisingly rapid upward path, their Ferrari-powered C37 proving increasingly competitive, particularly in the hands of rookie star Charles Leclerc, who scores 39 of their 48 points – a total almost 10 times their 2017 tally.
Another tough campaign ends with just a five championship points. However, the mid-season arrival of Frederic Vasseur as team principal, followed by an Alfa Romeo title sponsorship deal for 2017 plus the signing of Ferrari protege Charles Leclerc, all bodes well for a brighter future.