Peter Sauber, Sauber, Shanghai, 2012

Sauber: Situation “serious” but team will continue

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Peter Sauber, Sauber, Shanghai, 2012In the round-up: Peter Sauber admits the situation facing his team is “serious” but believes they will remain in F1 for years to come.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Sauber will be in F1 “for many years”, says owner (Reuters)

“The situation is serious. It is one of the most difficult situations since I’ve been in motorsport.”

Speed traces show Lotus getting too close for comfort (James Allen on F1)

“Despite falling just short in Germany, these fuel corrected traces show that the Lotus was as fast, if not a shade faster than the Red Bull. They are likely to contend for victory with Red Bull again in Hungary, although Mercedes looks a shoe-in for pole position in Budapest.”


Comment of the day

@Atticus-2 spies a missed funding opportunity for Sauber:

The price paid for Fangio?s Mercedes a couple of days ago would almost fill up Sauber?s budget hole.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Jv!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The non-championship Solitude Grand Prix held on this day in 1962 saw a popular victory for the locally-built Porsche 804 of Dan Gurney.

Despite that win, and Gurney’s earlier victory in the French Grand Prix, Porsche cancelled its F1 programme soon after and never returned as a full constructor. They will compete in the World Endurance Championship next year with Mark Webber among their drivers.

Image ?? Sauber

34 comments on “Sauber: Situation “serious” but team will continue”

  1. The price paid for the Mercedes was an huge price for a racing car – yet it still wouldn’t fully cover the Sauber shortfall! Worrying times, it would be disappointing to lose two teams in consecutive seasons.

    1. I agree, is one thing to loose HRT which had more owners than sponsors during it’s lifetime, and a very different one to loose F1’s 4th oldest team. And although bad management has obviously played a role in Sauber’s troubles, the other teams can’t turn their backs and ignore this, after all, they could be next.

      1. @mantresx F1 and motor racing in general has always been this horrid sort of monster that eats its offspring. It prefers the tender flesh of the youngest, but with enough pounding of the hammer even the tough flesh of the eldest is made palatable.

    2. But Bernie only wants 10 teams.

  2. I wish Peter Sauber and Team Sauber the very best in their efforts to remain in F1. Sauber’s comments remind me of a quote from Nelson Mandela, “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

    1. Hopefully Peter finds someone with passion of running a Formula 1 Team instead of sustainable business model to replace Monisha. She is a capable woman, but she doesn’t have the touch of Peter Sauber or Frank Williams. I’d imagine she is pretty close to Ron Dennis, but still no spark that distinguishes leader of F1 Team from a Company Exec.

      1. Or:

        1. Sell it to Ferrari, maybe they could be into having their own “Toro Rosso”

        2. Try to bring Toyota back fo Formula 1 “a la Honda”

        1. Sauber has to remain relatively independent.

          1. Why ?
            They’ve never won a race as an independent team and even with BMW’s backing they never managed to make the step up from being a plucky midfield team to a genuine contender for regular wins.

            Surely the point of being in F1 is to try to build a team that is capable of winning races and eventually championships (or at least fighting for them), Sauber have never been in that position so maybe it would be better if they were bought by a company or individual who has the ambition and ability to make this a reality otherwise they’ll never be anything but a footnote in the history of modern F1 and all they’ll be remembered for is making up the numbers while other teams were fighting for podiums, race wins and championships.

          2. Being no.2 team requires to not have an ambition what so ever. So i don’t get where this ambition you claim comes.

  3. Sauber’s 2014 Drivers Line Up:

    Vitaly Petrov and Esteban Gutierez

    1. Maybe either Razia or Chilton can be their reserve drivers?

      1. @bascb why “or”? :)

        1. Touché!

    2. I’d rather take something like that plus plus some Indians and Chinese or something guys as “reserve drivers” for one or two seasons to give them time to get back on their feet than lose the team altogether .. the perfect solution (teams getting a fairer share of the revenues) will not come along any time soon …

      1. The funny thing is, Chinese and Indian companies havent really flocked to invest in F1 or drivers in general. I dont think the likes of Tata and JK Tyre had provided the sums of money that Sauber are after to Narain and Karun..and I dont know how much Ma brought either.

        Having said that, there isnt any real talent from the two biggest populations, so I doubt this will happen. The only other guys in the lower formulae with state sponsorship that I can think of is Rio Haryanto and Jazeman Jaafar. Rio’s GP2 career hasnt been stellar, but I rate him.

  4. Short roundup, but all the pictures too look at from Goodwood show where the F1 world was at during the weekend :-)

  5. I wonder how much loosing Perez has affected Sauber’s financial health.

    1. not as much as failing to build a good car this year.

  6. I know it has got nothing to do with this subject but I have no other ways in venting my frustration. I have been following motorsport for over 40 years and have never seen so many interference in races by the stewards that it has become out of this world. Wins been taking away and penalties given for plain good old racing Its seems to me the fun has gone out of the sport This weekend there were quite a lot . The final straw was in the DTM race where the winner was disqualified for drinking water in parc ferme.

    1. I agree that there are too many penalties nowadays. However, I understand that the reason why Mattias Ekström got disqualified was not that he drank water but that somebody poured the water over him thus possibly trying to increase the weight of the car (+ the driver). It might sound ridiculous and I don’t know how much water Ekström got. For instance, one would need the big Evian bottle (1.5kg) to make di Resta’s car comply to the rules after Silverstone qualifying. But sometimes the margins are even smaller and it’s possible that Audi knew that the car was ~0.5kg lighter than necessary and tried to ‘disguise’ it.

      1. Sadly we all know that its just that tight, and when it is possible, inevitably there WILL be a team that would try the evian bottle trick @girts!

      2. Give it a bit of time and F1 will be club racing spec series just like Indy.

    2. I have to agree. I was watching the 2004 season review a few days ago and some of the driving that year was horrendous. There were some moments of ridiculous brain fade and a few absurd lunges that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Forza 4 lobby filled with giggling 13 years olds, but very rarely (if ever come to think of it) was a penalty handed out.

      I think now when two cars come into contact on the track the stewards feel they HAVE to make a decision and that they HAVE to blame someone for it. They seem to think that they can’t just say something was a racing incident, which is total cobblers.

      1. I think now when two cars come into contact on the track the stewards feel they HAVE to make a decision and that they HAVE to blame someone for it. They seem to think that they can’t just say something was a racing incident, which is total cobblers.

        I disagree. I doubt that the stewards are poised to blame someone, anyone, if in fact it was just a racing incident. In general I wouldn’t go blaming the stewards when it is not they that are trying to get away with things to advantage themselves. That’s on those who are trying to cheat, or who are driving carelessly. I don’t think you can have just observed in recent years spygate, liegate, crashgate, teams like Red Bull with their obsessive rule bending, and now testgate, and blame the stewards for having to keep a watchful eye.

        I just think the players in racing need to look themselves in the mirror and decide at what point they can or can’t sleep at night, before we go blaming stewards for allegedly striving to point blame at all cost.

    3. @ean

      The final straw was in the DTM race where the winner was disqualified for drinking water in parc ferme.

      I suppose the logic behind the verdict was that Ekstrom could have used the water to increase his body weight to the minimum weight for scruitineering.

  7. Sad news. Makes me think I’m glad Schumi didn’t sign for them in the end. Would have been a pain to see him in a struggling team while Mercedes improved…

  8. “We will not only see out this season to the end, but we will still be in Formula One for many years,” Sauber told the Swiss newspaper Blick. “I am convinced.”

    That is far from good news… I wish Sauber all the best. Looks like another drive is lost for Hulk.

    1. @dragoll
      Well, we need a guy who we all think should be incredibly good but just can’t ever make that last step for 2014, now that Webber’s going… Hulkenburg’s making that step, he’s already signed for a recently successful team which has since seen their fortunes decline (Much like Webber going to Williams). What’s the betting he goes to a top team after 2-3 years but is beaten by a championship winning team-mate?

      1. @keeleyobsessed I hope your right. Although, I’m seeing shades of another Martin Brundle, where the right drive comes up, but at the wrong time… Or maybe thats Perez… Who knows, the F1 cycle continues :)

  9. with Peter Sauber on board, the team never got even close to this kind of financial problems, however it wouldn’t be fair to blame the whole thing to Monisha Kaltenborn. Obviously, it is not impossible to bring a team close to insolvence under a year, but I believe that the situation is more complicated than that.

    1. the drivers
    last year, Sauber had a quite strong lineup, young drivers with talent and speed, scoring over 60 points individually. both of them have been replaced, which must have affected the development of the car, the continuity has broken (Caterham brought Kovalainen back for a couple of FP1s due to similar considerations). this years lineup looks also good, but the Hulk have never spent more than a year racing for the same team, and Gutierrez suffers because of the lack of test opportunities, and his situation doesn’t really help the car development process. changing both drivers could work, but last time the team did this, needed to call their last years driver Nick Heidfeld to help out during the 2010 season.

    2. the car
    unlike many teams, Sauber decided to start their 2013 car from a clean sheet, throwing out the surprisingly competitive 2012 model in the garbage. just like McLaren, they failed with their brave concept, and the car doesn’t have the advantage of not destroying the tyres, and looks slower under 1 lap as well. if they even manage to survive until the end of the season, it’s unlikely they score more than 25 points altogether.

    3. the management
    there’s a new team principal for almost a year now, who has obviously the desire to show the world that she has her own ideas, she can walk her own way and the team can be still successful. but please consider that other major changes didn’t take place in the management, and Peter Sauber is still lurking there silently in the background, he wouldn’t let his team fall down, despite he has no formal power to influence the decisions, be sure that he does it some way, as he also doesn’t want to let his inexperienced trainee down in her very first year.

    4. the sponsorship money
    Kobayashis exit didn’t affect the teams budget, as the Japanese didn’t have personal sponsors to follow him, same for the Hulk. the departure of Sergio Perez is more interesing, because the TelMex logo does not appear on the McLaren (yet?), and his fellowman Gutierrez has landed in the racing seat, so TelMex has the very reason to continue supporting the Sauber. but please also consider, that in 2012, TelMex had 2 reasons (2 drivers) to pump money into the team, now it has only one, and as it has already been mentioned, it hasn’t been revealed how much money did they withdraw.

    5. the prize money
    Sauber finished 7th in the constructors championship back in 2011, and 6th in 2012. although it’s only a one place difference, there’s the largest margin in the midfield between 6th an 7th, 6th get around 64 million euros, 7th get around 57, the difference is 7 million euros (the difference otherwise is about 3,5 million euros between places in the middle), so they earned themselves almost the third of the amount of money they are need of now. where was it pumped?

    6. the facilities
    it’s about 10 years now, since Sauber built up the ultramodern wind tunnel in Hinwil, of which the team could capitalize until the point the ontrack tests and wind tunnel tests were reduced to minimal. their advantage faded away with that. in nowadays F1 CFD and simulators seem to be the way of efficient development, and Sauber is lagging behind the direct rivals in this respect (as di Resta questioned the departure of the Hulk for similar reasons, Force India has a very strong and promising simulator project, Sauber might not…)

    these are the most influental factors in my opinion that led to the current situation of the team. we don’t understand, we don’t see all the factors, we might not even know about some, but i believe, that with Peter Sauber in the principals seat this could also have happened to him as well, it’s too early and unfair to blame it on Frau Kaltenborn.

    About the perspective of the heavier involvement of paydrivers… if it’s the only way for the team to survive, then do it. if the rich Russian youngster is able to bring in more money than the team might possibly lose by not scoring enough points and finishing lower in the championship, then the deal is for the good, even if would have loved to see for example Frijns in a Sauber…

    1. do you have any facts, sources and citations to back all of this up, or is it just speculation on your part? especially the part about how you suggest it possible that Kaltenborn has brought the team “close to insolvence under a year”…

      1. i didn’t suggest such thing. i wrote that it’s easy to imagine how someone could ruin a team in only one year time, but if you read it carefully, you can see that i speak in defense of her, all the other factors i collected together support my view that it’s not that obvious to blame everything on Kaltenborn.
        i didn’t point sources, right. however, the factual parts of my text can be found in any F1 newsportals archive, the only thing i added to it is to set them in one context, give them a perspective, analyze the causality, and draw a conclusion. my conclusion. which i believe goes beyond black or white, and defends Kaltenborn.

  10. I’m watching the evening news right now, and they’re covering the first Ashes test match at Lourdes. Every time the reporters and commentators mention DRS – here, it means “Decision Review System” – I fall into fits of giggles.

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