Welcome to The Grid, R&T's quick roundup of the auto industry and motorsports news you should know this morning.
Meet Alfa Romeo Sauber
The Alfa Romeo name is officially back in Formula One with the freshly renamed Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team. As expected, Ferrari junior Charles LeClerc and Marcus Ericsson. The car above is what an Alfa Romeo Sauber livery could look like. It's kind of boring, so we're hopeful that there could be something more exciting and appealing when next year's car is officially unveiled.
This is also more than just a title sponsorship deal. Alfa Romeo will have tech transfer with the F1 team, with engineers working on the F1 program. We'll see the car for real sometime in the new year.
Fiat and Hyundai?
It seems like its been going on for ages. For the last few years, Fiat Chrysler has been on the lookout for a partner. For a while, it seemed FCA was courting GM for this partnership. Now, there are apparently , but the partnership doesn't sound as wide ranging.
The discussions for this partnership are focusing on transmissions and hydrogen propulsion. There is nothing official yet, but we'd bet Marchionne is hopeful a deal will be signed.
Button Is Back
Jenson Button retired from Formula One at the end of the 2015 season, with a one-off appearance at the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix. But while the driver has no interest in a return to F1, he is interested in continuing racing.
So, in 2018, Button for Honda. Button has deep ties to the Japanese brand and drove in the series at Suzuka in August. It was expected that his return to full-time racing would either be in IMSA with Penske or in Super GT, so this seems to rule out any IMSA competition in 2018.
GM's Water Contamination
A group of residents near GM's Milford Proving Grounds are for alleged water pollution caused by activities at the facility. The suit alleges that Milford is causing adverse health affects, like kidney stones and hypertension.
GM says that it's a good neighbor, has reduced salt usage at Milford, and regularly sends reports on groundwater quality to Michigan's government. The plaintiffs are seeking $25,000+ per affected resident and for GM to pay for clean-up and stop polluting, aka stop using Milford.