Motor racing-New team name may surprise, says Sauber F1 boss

LONDON (Reuters) - Swiss-based Sauber could surprise with their new Formula One name for next season after the departure of Alfa Romeo as title sponsor, according to team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi.

The team's deal to race as Stellantis-brand Alfa Romeo, after previously competing as Sauber, ended this year and they will become the Audi factory outfit from 2026.

"In Formula One the team name is also depending from commercial partnership," Alunni Bravi said at the Autosport Awards event on Sunday night.

"On the 10th of December, as soon as the FIA will publish the entry list we will of course announce a new team name. I think it will be a surprise.

"We cannot wait to start the partnership with our new partners, we will have I think a really fresh approach in terms of communication, marketing, and we will do a launch of the car here in the UK."

Alunni Bravi said at last month's season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that no Audi branding would be on the car before 2026.

"It's not a limbo period, we build our future here and now, it's not that there is a separation between the Sauber period and the Audi period," he said on Sunday.

"We are working since the beginning of the year with our group CEO Andreas Seidl for this transformation process."

Alfa Romeo ended the season ninth of the 10 teams and Alunni-Bravi recognised a big step was needed to be fighting in the top five, while expectations would also have to be managed.

"The entry of Audi in Formula One as of 2026 is big news for the entire F1 community, not just important for Sauber to be chosen as a strategic partner," he added. "I think all Formula One will benefit from this."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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