Founder admits Sauber to be 2017 backmarker

Mar.20 (GMM) Team founder Peter Sauber has admitted the Swiss outfit is set to bring up the rear of the field in 2017.

“There are ten teams,” he told the Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick. “The initial position for Sauber is number ten.”

But a worse fate seemed in store for Sauber not too long ago, with the 73-year-old admitting the team he took into F1 back in 1993 almost collapsed completely.

Now, with a rescue buyout complete, semi-retirement has become full retirement for Peter Sauber, who says he is no longer involved and owns “not a screwdriver” at Hinwil.

In fact, he said he will be holidaying in South Africa by the end of this week and may not even watch the 2017 season opener on television.

Sauber admitted he still feels affected by the turmoil of his last years in F1.

“I needed some time to process the separation from my company,” he said. “It is not easy and I have had sleepless nights.

“It was a real tightrope walk and a collapse was always possible,” revealed Sauber. “For me it was an extremely stressful situation with many unpleasant encounters and telephone calls.”

One rumour, for example, is that Sauber fell out with the team’s ongoing boss, Monisha Kaltenborn.

“We have very little contact,” he admits. “I still have contacts with some employees, but no office and I’m never there.

“They say I am the founder and they will use the Sauber name, which is important for the new owners,” said Sauber.

“But overall, we made a clean break. It is better like that. So I have nothing to do with the company anymore.”

So for now, Peter Sauber thinks the team that still bears his name will be last in 2017, “But I hope they will succeed in overtaking one or two teams”.

“There are no miracles in formula one,” he admits. “When I look at the years after BMW, 2012 was the last really good season and after that it became difficult because of the lack of financial resources.

“During the development of the 2017 car, the time between May and September was very important and it was then that the funds were missing,” said Sauber.

Related News

  • 21/03/2017 Ferrari spent ‘100s of millions’ to catch up – Cuquerella Mar.21 (GMM) Ferrari is on the cusp of a much better season in F1. That is the claim of the Italian marque's former chief engineer Toni Cuquerella, who was at Ferrari as recently as 2016 […]
  • 20/03/2017 Alonso to ‘lose his patience’ – Ramirez Mar.20 (GMM) Fernando Alonso will eventually "lose his patience" with McLaren-Honda. That is the view of the famous British outfit's former long-time team manager Jo Ramirez. The […]
  • 21/03/2017 Honda says McLaren relationship ‘strong’ Mar.21 (GMM) Honda has hit back at reports its works McLaren collaboration is on the road to tatters. Recently, McLaren did not categorically deny speculation that, in the wake of a dire […]
  • 21/03/2017 Rosberg-Hamilton relationship ‘negative’ – Wolff Mar.21 (GMM) The intense relationship between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had become "negative" for Mercedes. That is the claim of Toto Wolff, as he puts a positive spin on the […]
  • 21/03/2017 Vettel to Mercedes ‘sounds good’ – Wolff Mar.21 (GMM) Sebastian Vettel "would fit" into the Mercedes team, according to team boss Toto Wolff. It is the clearest sign yet that the reigning world champions are already looking […]
  • 20/03/2017 Verstappen plays down early race wins in 2017 Mar.20 (GMM) Max Verstappen has confirmed expectations that Red Bull will touch down in Australia this week with several improvements for the 2017 car. The energy drink owned team had a […]
  • 13/01/2017 One week rescue deadline set for Manor Jan.13 (GMM) Manor has just a single week to avoid collapse, according to sources close to the embattled F1 backmarker. One week ago, the British outfit was placed into administration, […]
  • 02/03/2017 FIA confirms Manor will not race in 2017 Mar.2 (GMM) Manor's dwindling hopes of survival have now faded completely, as the FIA confirmed the collapsed backmarker will not race in 2017. There had been paddock murmurings of an […]
  • 21/01/2015 Hamilton’s father eyes F1 return for Africa Jan.21 (GMM) World champion Lewis Hamilton's father is involved in plans to revive a South African grand prix. Since splitting as Lewis' manager, Anthony Hamilton has worked on other […]
  • 14/09/2016 Nasr happier with Sauber after team buyout Sep.14 (GMM) After almost collapsing earlier this year, Sauber is now noticeably back on track. That is the news of team driver Felipe Nasr, who had earlier appeared to almost lose […]