Hinwil, Switzerland - These are the first pictures of the 2018 Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula One car, codenamed C37.

It’s the first F1 car to carry the Alfa Romeo ‘Quadrifoglio’ (a four-leaf clover) since 1987, and it looks a lot different from the 2017 Sauber C36, partly because of the new technical regulations, and partly due to the team's new technical approach.

Technical director Jörg Zander explained: "The design philosophy behind the C37 is different; the aerodynamic concept has changed significantly, and the C37 has several new features that we’re sure will give us more opportunities to make improvements during the season. The 2018 Ferrari engine will also give us a performance boost.”

Team principal Frédéric Vasseur said: "Our target for 2018 is clear - We have to catch up with the field and continue improving our performance during the course of the season.”

The famous good-luck charm has a fascinating history; the first Alfa Romeo to carry the Quadrifoglio was the RL driven by Ugo Sivocci to victory in the 1923 Targa Florio. It was on the Brilli Peri's P2 when he won the first ‘Motor Racing World Championship’ at Monza in 1925. 

When Giuseppe "Nino" Farina won the very first Formula One world championship in 1950, his Alfetta 158 carried the four-leaf clover, as did 1951 championship winner Juan Manuel Fangio’s 159.

The C37 will be rolled out in public for the first time during the first winter tests at Catalunya near Barcelona from the 26 February to 1 March.

IOL Motoring