For the first time since 1993, there will be no team called Sauber on the grid, the team rebranded Alfa Romeo Racing from 2019 onwards.
The ownership and management structure of the Swiss-based team remains the same, however, and it is possible that they could be the dark horses to break into the top five this season. Team boss Frederic Vasseur certainly seems to think so, then Sauber making the most progress of any team by the end of 2018 despite finishing only eighth in the constructors’ standings.
Many of Sauber’s impressive showings in the latter third of the season was down to the outstanding talent of Charles Leclerc, the driver snapped up by Ferrari for 2019.
Yet the team, founded by Peter Sauber way back in 1970, has a strong racing tradition scoring podiums and a famous win with Robert Kubica as BMW Sauber in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.
With Kimi Raikkonen re-joining the team he started his career with for 2019, Sauber is bound to attract a whole new generation of fans and maybe the popular Finn may not have enjoyed his last visit to the podium after all.
Seemingly on the up after a strong finish to 2018, the added experience of Kimi Raikkonen to give feedback and aid development will be invaluable. With Raikkonen and Alfa Romeo backing, the team is more attractive to potential investors.
Can the team keep up the momentum? Despite the strong finish to 2018, it is still fighting against big rivals and having lost the brilliant Charles Leclerc, Antonio Giovinazzi is something of an unknown quantity.