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Sauber launches black and green livery under new name

ESPN

The Sauber Formula One team has launched its new car and livery as part of its rebranding under the name Stake.

Between 2019 and 2023, Sauber branded itself as Alfa Romeo due to a commercial partnership with the Italian car manufacturer, but will now use the name Stake F1 Team in line with its new title sponsor, which is an online gambling platform.

The deal with Stake, which includes a black and green livery this year, will last two years before German car company Audi completes its takeover of the team and enters F1 in 2026 with a fully rebranded team and its own engines.

The rebranding for 2024 has led to some confusion over what to call the team.

The company producing the actual cars is still called Sauber -- the team that was set up by Peter Sauber and first raced in F1 in 1993 -- but at the launch the team insisted on Stake while the FIA's official entry list names the chassis as Kick Sauber.

"A team's name in Formula One is depending on many different elements, including commercial partnerships," team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi said. "We have announced as a chassis name Kick Sauber, when the FIA published the entry list, and we have a new team identity is Stake F1 team.

"Our new team identity is the Stake F1 Team, but it's not that we forget Sauber, we are the Sauber Group, and there are a lot of people working there all together. But we present ourselves in the F1 community with a new team identity, new team name for the next two seasons season.

"I think this is important. It's not just commercial as a partnership, it's a way that we want to approach the Formula One world. It's not that we forget Sauber, we are the Sauber Group, but our team in F1 is the Stake F1 Team."

Because it is a gambling platform, local laws will mean Stake will not be allowed to appear on the car at some F1 race locations. Alunni Bravi explained that the team will use the name Kick at those races, which is an online gaming platform that is part of the same company as Stake.

"We will be fully compliant with all the local applicable laws and where gambling advertising is prohibited we will use a different name," he said "As was the case last year, we have Kick as one of our most important partners, our chassis name is Kick Sauber, so where we cannot race as Stake F1 Team we will use the second team name."

Sauber will continue in 2024 with Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu as it drivers, with the new car due to hit the track for the first time in Barcelona next week before testing gets underway Bahrain on February 21.