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Alfa Romeo name to remain in Formula 1 for 2021 season after Sauber deal extended

The Alfa Romeo name will remain in Formula 1 next season after the Italian car company extended its deal with the Sauber team by one year.

Alfa has had a commercial arrangement with the Swiss team since 2018, when the famous brand returned to F1 for the first time since 1987.

The team have not confirmed their driver line-up but Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi are set to stay on.

An announcement on Raikkonen and Giovinazzi is expected soon.

Alfa Romeo are eighth in the constructors’ championship with five races remaining in 2020 and have spent the majority of the season battling with Williams and Haas at the back of the grid.

Team principal Frederic Vasseur said: “Both parties always intended for this relationship to bear fruit in the long term: we have laid some solid foundations in the last three season and we aim to reap the rewards of this work in 2021 and beyond.”

Alfa and Sauber are in talks about extending their partnership into the period beyond 2021 but no agreement has yet been reached.

On the driver front, Sauber decided to keep Raikkonen at the age of 41 because the 2007 world champion continues to perform well and adds profile to the team.

Ferrari has the right to decide the driver in the team’s second seat as part of its engine partnership with them and sources indicate Giovinazzi will remain in his position.

The Italian has had an up-and-down season, with strong performances interspersed with the odd high-profile error, but Ferrari believe their reserve driver has done enough to justify another year.

Ferrari’s decision means Mick Schumacher, a member of their driver academy who is leading the Formula 2 championship with two races to go, is poised to make his F1 debut next year with Haas.

The second seat at Haas is tipped to go to Russian Nikita Mazepin, a front-runner in F2, whose father, the billionaire businessman Dmitry Mazepin, will bring significant funding to the team through his chemicals company.

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