Alfa Romeo has extended its partnership with Sauber to retain the Italian manufacturer’s branding on its car in a new multi-year deal.

The two parties began a relationship in 2018 when Alfa Romeo became the team’s title sponsor before taking over the naming rights a year later.

It had been well documented that Alfa was considering whether to remain in Formula 1 after 2021 with its deal expiring, with negotiations having taken place for several months.

But ahead of next year’s regulation changes that could cause a major shake-up to F1’s pecking order, Alfa opted to remain in the sport with a view to moving further up the grid.

“Alfa Romeo have been an incredible companion over the last few years, and we are even more excited about the chapters that are yet to come,” said team boss Frederic Vasseur, as quoted by Motorsport.com.

“The new regulations are giving us the chance to make another step forward and I firmly believe we are perfectly placed to make big gains together. We are looking forward to our future together and to keeping moving towards the front of the grid.

“This relationship is also very important for our company as a whole, beyond the track: the work we have done in the automotive world has shown the extent of the technology and manufacturing skills of Sauber Engineering and we are confident we can continue working for Alfa Romeo on new and exciting projects that will shape the future of the car industry.

“Alfa Romeo is not just a major partner to work with, but a brand that shows we mean business. Continuing to work together will allow us to have a stable environment, something that shows this is a real partnership that transcends sponsorship.

“We are both committed to shaping the team and the marque as we go on, to bring Alfa Romeo back to the top of the motorsport family; for the team, the image boost is immense as well.”

The announcement means the Swiss-based outfit retains its links to Ferrari and will continue to have one seat open to a Ferrari-affiliated driver.

Alfa CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato said: “As an historic Italian automotive brand, Alfa Romeo was born on the race track.

“Today we are proud to continue honouring that racing DNA by placing it at heart of the future of our brand. We are driven by passion and excellence.

“F1 represents a cutting-edge laboratory for the future electrification of our range, fully coherent with our vision for the coming years. Furthermore, motorsport brings the incomparable global exposure we wish to leverage for a successful future.”

Despite making significant gains from a disappointing 2020 season, Alfa Romeo currently sits eighth in the constructors’ championship on two points and is 30 points adrift of the next highest team Alpine.