For the first time in decades, Alfa Romeo’s famous Quadrifoglio lucky cloverleaf badge will grace the side of an Alfa Romeo-badged Formula One car. This time, it’s aboard the new Sauber C37, which was unveiled today with a big ol’ Alfa Romeo graphic on the side. Alfa’s finally back in F1.
It’s also big news for Sauber, who was the lone team to finish behind the infamously terrible McLaren-Honda partnership last year and has struggled to float much higher than mid-field for years.
Yet if you’re worried that Alfa also has a reputation for breaking down lately, never fear: that’s hopefully just their street cars. The Sauber F1 team will remain Ferrari-powered, but with Fiat Chrysler stablemate Alfa Romeo as a technical partner.
Alfa Romeo was last involved in F1 33 years ago.
The improvements to this car should be considerable over last year’s model. For one, they’re getting current-spec Ferrari engines instead of the year-old units they had to make do with last year, notes Sky Sports. Aerodynamics have also been optimized for this year’s tiny vestigial shark fins and meaty halos, with notable differences around the sidepods compared to last year’s car.
Returning Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson and reigning Formula Two champion Charles Leclerc will drive the new Alfa Romeo-badged Sauber for the year. Here’s hoping that lucky cloverleaf works out for them.
Correction [10:25 a.m.]: An early morning read of an FCA press release that mentioned that this car “marks the return to the circuits of the ‘Quadrifoglio’” made me completely forget that last year’s Ferrari also wore Alfa’s lucky cloverleaf. So, this is really just the return of the cloverleaf to an F1 car badged as an Alfa, and we’ve amended this above.