The Sauber F1 Team has had a presence in Formula One, in one form or another, since 1993, originally founded by Peter Sauber who still acts as Team Principal today. They currently run Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez having previously given the likes of Kimi Räikkönen, Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel their first drives in F1. The team currently lie sixth in the championship with 80 points – already nearly double the points they achieved in 2011. Perez also achieved his first two F1 podiums, a second place in Malaysia which has been their best finish so far this year, and a third at the Canadian GP.
The Sauber team have had associations with Mercedes, Red Bull, Petronas, Ferrari, and most notably BMW over the years. From 2006 – 2010 the team were known as BMW-Sauber as BMW bought the team, with Mario Theissen at the helm, but the team pulled out of the sport at the end of 2009, with Sauber securing funding enabling them to return to the grid in 2010 (in place of Toyota). During the time as BMW-Sauber the team picked up one pole position, one win and two fastest laps.
The 2012 Season
The team have looked impressive so far in 2012 and at times look like they could challenge for a race victory, especially given the unpredictable nature of the start of the season. Kobayashi and Perez have taken seven points finishes between them and are just 25 points off fifth placed Mercedes. They are one team who seem particularly kind to their tyres, making them last much longer than others, and at times making one stop strategies work as others around them have to pit. Last time out at the German GP Kobayashi had his best ever result in F1 by taking fourth place, with Perez finishing in sixth, with both drivers gaining a number of positions from their grid slots of 12th and 17th respectively.
F1 Career Summary
Pole Positions: 1 (as BMW-Sauber)
Wins: 1 (as BMW-Sauber)
Fastest Laps: 4
Career Points: 671
Best Championship Finish: 2nd (2007 as BMW-Sauber)
Nick Heidfeld, Kimi Räikkönen, Felipe Massa, Jacques Villeneuve, Robert Kubica, and Sebastian Vettel (for one race).
What the fans say and like
- They bring a lot of drivers through such as Kimi Räikkönen
- They are a ‘likeable’ team
- Ever present with a lower budget
- Jean Alesi – Spa “magic” 1998
- 1998 Austrian GP – Alesi qualified on the front row of the grid
- “My favourite memory is a conversation I had with a colleague who used to work for them. He said many of the early retirements were because they stuck the ECU in the airbox right on top of the exhaust!”
- That they gave Kamui Kobayashi a shot after his impressive 2009 Toyota debut