The Sauber F1 Team is expected to  make a key announcement about its future, either this weekend or early next week.

Pundits in the Monza paddock are fueling a rumor that the Swiss outfit could announce Charles Leclerc as one of its drivers for 2018, but that may not be the only Ferrari-linked news to be revealed.

It is believed that Sauber could actually change its name for next season and be rebranded Alfa Romeo in a move further strengthening the Hinwil-based team’s ties with Maranello.

Sauber recently extended its power unit deal with Ferrari, and while  team boss Frederic Vasseur insisted the squad would not be a Ferrari ‘B’ team, collaboration between the two partners appears to be growing.

“The deal is based on the powertrain,” Vasseur said at Monza, “but then we will discuss that we could extend the deal on another parameter for some other parts.”

Vasseur also played down the suggestions a deal with dominant Formula 2 rookie Leclerc is basically done.

  • Sauber won’t be turned into Ferrari B team, insists Vasseur

“I think he has to be focused on the Formula 2 championship,” he said.

“There’s still a couple of races to go and it’s a bit too early to discuss that.” 

In an interview earlier this year with the FIA’s Auto publication, Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne spoke of the potential return of the Quadrifoglio badge to Grand Prix racing

Marchionne has personally overseen the re-invigoration of the Alfa Romeo brand globally in the past years.

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A presence in Formula 1, perhaps through an involvement with Sauber, would certainly help restore the legend of a name which provided the very foundation for Enzo Ferrari’s historic endeavor.

“The instantly recognisable thoroughbred character of Alfa is something that few other brands can claim or even aspire to,” Marchionne said.

“Today the brand is ready to retake its rightful position as one of the world’s leading premium car brands.”

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