History & Heritage

Dive into our rich racing heritage

1959

Tales Of The Unexpected

1 January 1959

Tales Of The Unexpected

1959

Start

1 March 1959

Peter Sauber had never been particularly interested in cars, and motor racing didn’t do anything for him at all. The fact that Sauber Motorsport has stayed in business more than 45 years had a lot to do with chance in

1960

1960

1 January 1960

1960

Peter Sauber’s father owned a company for electrical systems which employed around 200 staff and had premises in Zurich as well as on Wildbachstrasse in Hinwil. Peter Sauber’s career path seemed to be mapped out. He trained as an electrical

1967

1967

1 January 1967

1967

The very first steps into motorsports: In 1967 Sauber used to drive to work every day in a VW Beetle – until a friend persuaded him to have some tuning work done. For a bit of fun he then entered

1968

The Sports Car Era

1 January 1968

The Sports Car Era

1970

1970

1 February 1970

1970

In 1970 Peter Sauber decided to set himself up as an independent builder of open two-seater racing sports cars. Out of the cellar of his parents’ home in Zurich emerged the Sauber C1. He used the first name of his

1970

1970

1 April 1970

1970

That same year, he set up PP Sauber AG and moved into a specially built workshop on the premises of his father’s company in Wildbachstrasse. With the C1 he won the 1970 Swiss sports car championship, but soon whittled things

1976

1976

1 January 1976

1976

It wasn’t the easiest of tasks Sauber had set himself: surviving on constructing racing sports cars in Switzerland seemed a doomed prospect. But he would not be deterred and was determined to battle on. The working day often stretched deep

1978

1978

1 January 1978

1978

In 1978 the C5 was leading in the 2-litre class in the Le Mans 24 hours endurance classic until a defective exhaust valve in the BMW engine thwarted the attempt at victory by drivers Marc Surer, Eugen Strähl and Harry

1981

1981

1 January 1981

1981

In 1981 Hans-Joachim Stuck and Nelson Piquet won the Nürburgring 1000-kilometre race in a Sauber-built Group 5 BMW M1.

1981

Sports Cars – The Group C Era

6 January 1981

Sports Cars – The Group C Era

1982

1982

1 January 1982

1982

1982 was a decisive one for Sauber. He was commissioned by Swiss composite materials manufacturer Seger & Hoffmann to build a car for the Group C World Sports Car Championship: it was to become the Sauber C6. During this time

1985

1985

1 January 1985

1985

In 1985 Sauber began fitting his racing sports cars with Mercedes engines, moving a bit closer to the Stuttgart-based company as a result. Just a year later, Henri Pescarolo and Mike Thackwell won the Nürburgring 1000 Kilometres in a Sauber

1988

1988

1 January 1988

From 1988, Sauber and his crew acted as Mercedes’ official works team.

1988

Sports Cars – The Golden “Silver Years”

6 January 1988

Sports Cars – The Golden “Silver Years”

1989

1989

1 January 1989

1989

Professor Werner Niefer, Chairman of Mercedes at the time, decided the cars should be painted silver, marking the revival of the famed ‘Silver Arrows’. The highlight of this partnership was the year 1989, which brought not only the drivers’ and

1990

1990

1 January 1990

1990

The following year saw a repeat win of the World Championship title. Sauber Motorsport had grown to a workforce of 50. It was also during this time that the junior team was set up, based on an idea of Sauber’s

1990

Preparations for Formula One Entry

6 January 1990

Preparations for Formula One Entry

1991

1991

1 January 1991

1991

With the lustre of the World Sports Car Championship beginning to fade, Mercedes now looked to Formula One. In the summer of 1991 it was declared a joint project, and preparations went into full swing. Sauber set about building a

1992

1992

1 January 1992

1992

Sauber had two options: to accept a financial settlement and withdraw, or to use the money as start-up capital for his own Formula One involvement. In January 1992 he took the plunge, and by autumn the first tests in the

1992

Formula One – The Early Years

6 January 1992

Formula One – The Early Years

1993

1993

1 January 1993

1993

On 14th March 1993, according to plan, two Sauber C12 cars driven by Karl Wendlinger and JJ Lehto lined up for the South African Grand Prix. With two World Championship points for fifth place claimed by the Finnish driver, this

1995

1995

1 January 1995

1995

Contracts signed with Red Bull and Petronas in 1995 provided a solid foundation and enabled the Swiss team to establish itself as a firm fixture in Formula One. In 1995 and 1996 Sauber served as the works team for Ford.

1997

1997

1 January 1997

1997

From 1997 onwards the cars were powered by Ferrari engines bearing the name of the title sponsor Petronas. But the breakthrough was some time in coming.

2001

2001

1 January 2001

2001

Finally, in 2001, three high points in the team’s history arrived in rapid succession: the partnership with major Swiss bank Credit Suisse, fourth place in the Constructors’ World Championship secured in mid-October and, just a few days later, the ground

2003

2003

1 January 2003

2003

Inauguration of the new wind tunnel building: Immediately adjacent to the factory building stands the state-of-the-art wind tunnel, which was officially opened in mid-December 2003 and went on stream in spring 2004.

2005

2005

1 January 2005

2005

2005 saw Peter Sauber on the lookout for a new engine partner. Now in his sixties, he was not disinclined to pass his life’s work on into capable hands. An offer from BMW seemed like a good solution. The car

2006

Formula One – The BMW-Sauber Era

1 January 2006

Formula One – The BMW-Sauber Era

2007

2007

1 January 2007

2007

Factory extension: Located between the first factory and office building (completed in 1992) and the wind tunnel building (opened in 2004) is the most recent extension, which was occupied at the end of 2007.

2008

2008

1 January 2008

2008

The 2008 season – the third year of the BMW Sauber F1 Team – would mark the next milestone in the history of the team. The extension at Hinwil had since been completed and the workforce had crossed the 400

2009

2009

1 January 2009

2009

Following a challenging start to the 2009 season, shock news broke on 29th July: at a press conference in Munich, BMW announced it was withdrawing from Formula One at the end of the season. The company bowed out with 36

2009

Formula One – Starting Over

6 January 2009

Formula One – Starting Over

2010

2010

1 January 2010

2010

It was with this pared-down workforce, with Ferrari as engine partner and drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa that the Hinwil team embarked on the 2010 racing season – its 40th season in motor racing.

2011

2011

1 January 2011

2011

After a good first half of the season, which saw the team occupying what looked like a safe sixth place in the Constructors’ World Championship, the team endured a drop in form. The Sauber F1 Team eventually finished seventh in

2012

2012

1 January 2012

2012

2012 was a very good year for the Sauber F1 Team, headlined by four podium finishes, 126 World Championship points and sixth place in the constructors’ standings – a position higher once again than the previous year and an achievement

2012

2012

11 October 2012

2012

11th October 2012 marked a milestone in the history of the team – the day when Sauber stepped down as Team Principal and passed on the baton to Monisha Kaltenborn – making her Formula One’s first-ever female Team Principal.

2013

2013

1 January 2013

2013

The Sauber F1 Team started into the 2013 season with a new driver pairing. Nico Hülkenberg joined the Swiss squad for his third Formula One season. Esteban Gutiérrez was promoted from test and reserve driver to a race seat. The

2014

2014

1 January 2014

2014

Esteban Gutiérrez went into his second year together with his new teammate Adrian Sutil, who was going to contest his seventh season. Due to different reasons, the Sauber F1 Team was not able to match its direct competitors from the

2015

2015

1 January 2015

2015

The Sauber F1 Team started with a new pair of drivers in its 23rd Formula One season, relying on two young, talented and highly motivated drivers — Marcus Ericsson and rookie Felipe Nasr — for the 2015 season. Regarding the