Alfa Romeo Returns to F1 via a Ferrari-Powered Sauber C37

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2018 Sauber C37 Race CAr

While it is really just a series of decals on a Sauber race car, Alfa Romeo is back in F1 after 30 years away.

After a 30-year hiatus from the sport, Alfa Romeo is getting back into the world of F1 racing, but not how you might expect. Alfa Romeo hasn’t designed a new race car, nor has the Italian automaker come up with a new engine for the F1 team. Instead, they are sponsoring the Sauber team for the 2018 season, adding the Alfa logos to the new Ferrari-powered C37 race car.

The Alfa Romeo Sauber C37 F1 Racer

The Sauber race car for 2018 will be the C37, introducing a new look compared to the C36. These physical changes come as a result of the new F1 rules for 2018, so while the Alfa Romeo-sponsored Sauber racer car looks different, it isn’t because the Italian automaker redesigned it or anything like that.

Alfa Suaber Race Car

Under the engine cover is a turbocharged 97.6-cubic inch, 1,600cc V6 engine that spins to a whopping 15,000 revolutions-per-minute. This engine is new for the C37, with Sauber transitioning from the Ferrari 061 to the 063 race engine, offering around 100 more horsepower than the outgoing mill.

There are no power numbers announced for this engine, but we know that the Mercedes-Benz 1,600cc drivetrain makes somewhere in the area of a thousand horsepower and these cars compete in the same races – so the tiny Ferrari engine is likely making upwards of 900 horsepower.

Alfa Sauber Cockpit

Sauber Technical Director Jörg Zander offered this comment on the new car:
“It is great to finally reveal the C37 today. The 2018 challenger is the result of the hard work that everyone in the factory has put in over the last few months. Speaking about the C37, the car philosophy is much different to that of the C36. The aerodynamic concept has changed significantly, and the C37 has several new features in comparison to its predecessor. We are positive that the new concept offers us more opportunities and will help us to make improvements during the course of the season. The 2018 Ferrari engine will also give us a boost in terms of our performance. We hope that we will make progress with the C37 and that we are more competitive compared to 2017.”

How Alfa Romeo is Involved

So the chassis and body are designed by Sauber while the engine is designed by Ferrari, so what did Alfa Romeo do? Well, they wrote a sponsorship check and they put some decals on the engine cover of the car. This includes the familiar Quadrifoglio four-leaf clover logo, which was featured on the classic Alfa race cars of the 1920s and 1950s.

SAuber C37 Alfa Team

The 2018 Team

In addition to the Alfa Romeo-sponsored C37, the Sauber team will feature drivers Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc, with the first action coming at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain from February 26 to March 1.

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"Before I was old enough to walk, my dad was taking me to various types of racing events, from local drag racing to the Daytona 500," says Patrick Rall, a lifetime automotive expert, diehard Dodge fan, and respected auto journalist for over 10 years. "He owned a repair shop and had a variety of performance cars when I was young, but by the time I was 16, he was ready to build me my first drag car – a 1983 Dodge Mirada that ran low 12s. I spent 10 years traveling around the country, racing with my dad by my side. While we live in different areas of the country, my dad still drag races at 80 years old in the car that he built when I was 16 while I race other vehicles, including my 2017 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and my 1972 Dodge Demon 340.

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