The landscape of Formula 1 shifted dramatically on December 15th, 2023, with the announcement of a new team name for the Sauber-operated outfit. After five seasons bearing the iconic Alfa Romeo badge, the Swiss team will enter the 2024 campaign under a new banner: Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber. This bold move marks a turning point in the team’s history, ushering in a fresh era with ambitious partners and a renewed focus on innovation.
The departure of Alfa Romeo, a partnership that brought undeniable prestige and a passionate fan base, was expected. The Italian marque’s initial five-year commitment to Formula 1 was always intended as a brand-boosting exercise, paving the way for a potential full-fledged factory team in the future. However, their priorities shifted, and with Audi’s imminent arrival in 2026, Sauber needed to secure new sponsors to bridge the gap.
Enter Stake, a global online entertainment platform rapidly gaining traction. Their multi-year deal with Sauber grants them the naming rights for the team, ensuring financial stability and a prominent platform to showcase their brand. This partnership signifies a growing trend in Formula 1, where tech-savvy and forward-thinking companies like Stake are increasingly recognizing the sport’s potential for brand exposure and engagement.
But the name change isn’t just about sponsorships. The inclusion of “Kick”, another major partner, highlights Sauber’s commitment to innovation and pushing boundaries. Kick, a community-driven streaming platform, embodies the spirit of disruption and breaking convention that has always been at the heart of the Sauber identity.
The new name, “Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber,” while initially unfamiliar, carries a subtle message. It represents a team fueled by both financial stability and a thirst for innovation. Stake provides the foundation, while Kick ignites the spark of creativity and disruptive thinking. This dual-pronged approach positions Sauber for a future of competitive growth and exciting developments.
Of course, the change raises questions about the team’s long-term vision. Is this just a temporary stopgap before Audi takes over? Or is Sauber aiming to establish a unique identity within the Formula 1 landscape? Team principal Alessandro Alunni Bravi has remained coy, stating that “Sauber has always been about innovation, breaking the mould and defying convention.” This suggests a desire to carve their own path, independent of Audi’s eventual arrival.
For the fans, the change is likely to be met with mixed emotions. Some may mourn the departure of Alfa Romeo and its rich heritage. Others will be excited about the fresh start and the potential it represents. Ultimately, the success or failure of the “Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber” name will be judged on the track. The team’s performance, both in terms of results and their ability to embrace innovation, will determine whether this new chapter is remembered as a bold step forward or a mere footnote in Sauber’s history.
One thing is certain: the 2024 Formula 1 season will see a new Sauber on the grid. A team fueled by financial stability, driven by innovation, and bearing a name that reflects their determination to break the mould. Whether they succeed under the “Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber” banner remains to be seen, but one thing is clear: Sauber Motorsport is not standing still. They are ready to write their own chapter in the ever-evolving story of Formula 1.