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Sauber Adopts New Names Amid Gambling Law Issues

06/02/2024

Sauber will compete under different names in select Grands Prix due to gambling laws, moving away from its ‘Stake F1 Team’ branding.

Sauber will use a name other than ‘Stake F1 Team’ at certain Grands Prix, with more confusion ahead. The Stake F1 Team name under which Sauber will compete for the 2024 Formula 1 season will not be used at every round of the world championship due to gambling laws.

The team, formerly known as Alfa Romeo, lost the support of the automaker this year, before Audi‘s arrival as the new engine supplier and factory team starting in the 2026 season.

The Sauber group has concluded a branding agreement with sponsor Stake, under which the team is listed on the official entry list for 2024 as Stake F1 Team. Its chassis is called “Kick Sauber,” referencing another brand within the Stake group.

Sauber Alternates Names Amid Restrictions

As the Stake gaming brand cannot be promoted in certain territories, Sauber will use a different name at these Grands Prix. Stake was also the title sponsor of Alfa Romeo last year and was replaced by “Kick” in the official team title during events where it could not appear.

The situation also occurred last year. The team was registered under the name “Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake” for the opening rounds in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, then became “Alfa Romeo F1 Team Kick” for the Australian Grand Prix and continued to alternate between different territories. Without “Alfa Romeo” in the team’s name this year, the distinction between “Stake F1 Team” and its yet-to-be-announced alternative will likely be more noticeable.

“We were Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake in some countries and Alfa Romeo F1 Team Kick elsewhere,” team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi explained to the media at the team’s launch in London today.

“This year, we will also have two different team names depending on the countries we race in to comply with local laws. When Stake is banned due to restrictions on gambling advertising, we will use Kick in our team name.”

“As you know, Kick is also our partner for chassis naming rights, as our chassis is a Kick Sauber. So, we will have a second team name that we will announce soon. Of course, we are aware that there are countries where we cannot display the Stake brand.”

Sauber’s Green Livery Precedes Audi Era

Sauber unveiled a new green livery to accompany its name change this year. However, as it will become Audi’s factory team in 2026, this is likely to be short-lived.

Alunni Bravi stated that it was important for the team to clearly break away from its previous branding.

“For us, it was important, after six years with Alfa Romeo, to really establish a new team identity. Before the Audi era, it was important to present ourselves with this new identity.”

“Of course, it’s also important for a team like ours to have set up commercial partnerships. So, we’re taking this opportunity to have such an important partner as Stake join us, like Kick, to create this new team identity.”

However, he refuted the idea that the team had disregarded its historic brand, Sauber, with which it entered F1 in 1993.

“The Sauber group has been in Formula 1 for 32 years, but that doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten what Sauber is. It means that for these two seasons, we want to have this continuity and we want to create a new team identity that can also help us attract a new audience, reach a new audience, expand our fan base, present ourselves as new.”

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