F1 Teams Sauber and AlphaTauri Get New Names

Formula 1 has two new team names this season, which follow a trend in the sport to focus on marketing: Visa Cash App RB Formula One Team and Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber.

Sauber Motorsport has been racing since 1993 under various names, most recently as Alfa Romeo. For this season and next it will take the Stake name, with Audi taking over in 2026.

“Before Audi’s arrival, we felt it was important to present ourselves with this new identity and to have a commercial partnership in place,” said Alessandro Alunni Bravi, the Stake team representative. “The Sauber Group has been in Formula 1 for 32 years, but this doesn’t mean we have forgotten what Sauber is. It means that for the next two seasons we wanted to present ourselves as something new, fresh, different to help us attract a new audience.”

AlphaTauri, which entered Formula 1 in 2006 as Toro Rosso, is getting the Visa Cash App name.

“The head of sponsorship at Visa, Andrea Fairchild, said that it is a bit of a mouthful,” Peter Bayer, the team’s chief executive, said. “The reality is that we said from the outset last year that we would move closer to the Red Bull family.”

The RB stands for Racing Bulls, a reference to the plane collection, known as Flying Bulls, that belonged to the team’s founder, Dietrich Mateschitz.

“It fits well,” Bayer said. “But then we had a great problem because we had Visa, one of the biggest brands in the world, and Cash App, one of the most spectacular brands in the financial world, especially in the U.S., both wanting to partner with us.

“We were like, ‘Well, we will be Visa Cash App RB Formula One Team.’ I don’t hear a lot of people calling Aston Martin, Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 team, and I don’t hear people talking about MoneyGram Haas Formula 1 team, so we just have to be realistic and focus on the content, and that is a really beautiful and fast car.”

Drake, a Canadian rap artist, did the voice-over on the social media video announcing the Sauber name change.

For 20 of the record-breaking 24 Grands Prix this year, it will be known as Stake F1 Team. For the other four, in Australia, Spain, Belgium and Qatar, it will revert to Kick Sauber.

The change is to comply with the laws on gambling advertising in those four countries because Stake is an online cryptocurrency casino. Its owners are also responsible for Kick, a livestreaming platform.

“We will be fully compliant with all the local applicable laws where Stake is permitted,” Alunni Bravi said. “So where gambling advertising is prohibited, we will use a different name.

“Our car launch was streamed live on Kick.com, our chassis name is Kick Sauber, so where we will not be racing as Stake, we will use the second team name.”

The names of both teams have been criticized, with some fans taking to social media. “Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber might be the worst name for a team in F1 history,” a fan wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“When you try something new, and when you have a team name that is different from other team names, it’s always easy to be critical,” Alunni Bravi said. “Of course, there was criticism from those close to the Sauber name, and maybe they expected something different.

“Maybe we went too extreme, but we wanted to do something new and attractive for our fan base. When Drake announced our name, we had 22 million impressions, a number we never achieved with a single post on our social media platforms. It was huge.”

For Bayer, landing Visa was as big a coup. “You see the growth rate of F1 in the United States, a country that is a huge market for sports marketing, and Visa is an amazing brand,” he said.

“They do Super Bowl, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup and now a Formula 1 team, which is an honor for us and a huge opportunity. They’ll bring so many fresh ideas.”

Kendrick Lamar, the American rapper, performed at the team’s introduction in Las Vegas earlier this month. “We’re mixing sport with entertainment, bringing in new fans, activating new fan groups with a new way of communicating,” Bayer said. “It’s an amazing opportunity for Formula 1.”

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