TEAM Sauber

Team Boss: Peter Sauber
Driver One: Nick Heidfeld
Driver Two: H.H. Frentzen

A team known for being one in the midfield, Sauber is trying hard to break into the big time, awaiting their first ever Grand Prix victory. Peter Sauber started building his own cars in 1970 and he became a little more well known when he built the Sauber C6 for the new group C sports car category. He entered his first Mercedes powered car in 1985 and by 1989, with Mercedes continually investing more and more, they won the Le Mans 24 hour and the Worlds Sports Car series. Formula One was the next obvious step, but unfortunately for the team, in 1991 Mercedes announced that it wouldn't be moving to the Formula One paddock with them, although they did promise financial and technical support. Not only did they lose Mercedes but also Harvey Postlethwaite, who left Tyrrell to design the new Sauber C12, quit after hearing Mercedes announcement. Sauber then had to rely on a sports car designer named Leo Ress and a former McLaren man, Steve Nichols, for the car's development.

Sauber's first Grand Prix was in 1993 with J.J.Lehto and Karl Wendlinger signed to drive for them. Their debut was at the South African Grand Prix and what a stunning debut it turned out to be. Lehto qualified sixth and finished fifth, the first time a new team had won points in it's debut race since 1977 when Jody Scheckter won for Wolf in Argentina. Sadly though, after this great opening performance, the team couldn't match the strength of the opposition. There were solid performances to follow, including a fourth at Imola for Lehto and a fourth at Monza for Wendlinger. In 1994, Lehto lost his seat to a young German by the name of Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who qualified the Sauber in fifth in Brazil for his first Formula One appearance and then finished fifth in the Pacific Grand Prix.

Sauber's luck began to turn sour, with Wendlinger crashing heavily at Monaco. His life hung in the balance for some time as he lay in hospital in a coma, but luckily he survived. Following this blow, their sponsor who had refused to follow them into Formula One, made the surprise announcement that they were ready to take the plunge, but by signing a five year deal with McLaren and therefore cutting all ties with the Swiss team. Seeing as how Ford had lost Benetton to Renault, they agreed to a works deal for trhe 1995 season, but although Frentzen was third in the Italian Grand Prix, they only improved slightly in the constructors' title, finishing 7th overall.

As if things weren't bad enough, Stewart Grand Prix hit the paddock with the news that they would have the works Ford engines for the 1997 season, so Sauber switched to year old Ferrari engines that were rebadged as Petronas. It turned out to be a good move, with Johnny Herbert on the pace from word go, finishing third in the Hungarian Grand Prix to give the team it's first ever podium finish. He was partnered with many drivers that season, Larini for the first five races, Morbidelli for two, Fontana for three, then back to Morbidelli and Fontana again for the last race. This hampered the teams' success as well as the fact that Herbert didn't get to test as much as was needed.

1998 saw the team sign the experienced Jean Alesi to drive with Herbert, but Herbert had one disaster after another for the entire season. Alesi gave the team its second third place in Belgium and he became one of the few that out qualified the dominant McLarens that year when he put the Sauber on the front row of the grid in Austria, and event he repeated in 1999 in a wet session at Magny Cours, Unfortunately, he was caught out in the wet conditions and retired. He was partnered with Pedro Diniz and between them they earned Sauber 5 points for the season, which saw the team finish in 8th. There were strong performances from both drivers throughout the year, but unfortunately reliability factors caught them out more than once. Pedro Diniz remained with the team for the 2000 season, partnered with Mika Salo, however that first win still eluded them.

2001 saw a completely different driver line-up with ex-Prost driver, Nick Heidfeld partnered with Formula One's latest newcomer, Kimi Raikkonen. Although many had their doubts about the young Finn's ability to compete, his obvious talent shone through and he was quickly signed by the Mercedes powered McLaren outfit.

A fourth placed finish by the time the season came to a close in Japan left the team on a euphoric high for months, and with the signing of yet another new talent, Brazilian driver Felipe Massa, they had hoped to retain their place in the constructor's rankings in 2002. Unfortunately this wasn't to be and they slipped to fifth overall, replacing Massa with experienced racer Heinz-Harald Frentzen for 2003. They continue to run Ferrari engines and with an all new C22, they are hoping to mount yet another strong challenge.

2003 Engine

Official designation C22
Number of cylinders 10
Configuration 90-degree vee
Displacement 2997 cc
Cylinder block Aluminium
Number of main bearings 6
Number of camshafts 4 OHC
Camshaft drive interlocked
Number of valves 40
Valve mechanism pneumatic
Ignition system Magneti Marelli
Injection system Magneti Marelli
Oil system oil sump

2003 Car

Chassis Carbon fibre monocoque
Suspension Upper and lower wishbones, (front and rear) inboard springs and dampers, actuated by pushrods (Sachs Race Engineering)
Brakes Six piston calipers (Brembo), (front and rear) carbon pads and discs (Brembo)
Transmission Semi-automatic, longitudinally mounted, seven-speed transmission (Sauber), carbon clutch (Sachs Race Engineering)
Chassis Electronics Magneti Marelli
Tyres Wheels
Length 4450 mm
Width 1800 mm
Height 1000 mm
Front track 1470 mm
Rear track 1410 mm
Wheel base 3080 mm
Weight 600 kg (driveable car including driver, tank empty)


Petronas, Credit Suisse, Red Bull, Albert Stoll Giroflex AG, AS Elevators, Astarte New Media AG, Balzers AG Beschichtungszentrum, BBS Kraftfahrzeugtechnik AG, Bridgestone, Brütsch/Rüegger AG, Catia/Enovia Solutions, Comroad AG, DaimlerChrysler Schweiz AG, Dynabit, Emil Frey, Ericsson, Fluent Deutschland GmbH, Hermann Bubeck, In-Motion, ItalDesign / Giugiaro, Klauke Industries, Lista, Magneti Marelli, Microsoft AG, MSC.Software, MTS Systems, Ozalid AG, Paninfo AG, Sachs Race Engineering, Schaerlines AG, Sparco, Sun World Group, Temenos AG, Turbo Lefttechnik GmbH, Walter Meier AG, Winkler Veranstaltungstechnik AG.

The Team

Team Principal and CEO Peter Sauber
Technical Director Willy Rampf
Engine Director Osamu Goto
Team Manager Beat Zehnder
Head of Track Engineering Jacky Eeckelaert
Race Engineer Heidfeld Rémi Decorzent
Race Engineer Massa Jacky Eeckelaert
Chief Mechanic Urs Kuratle


Team Sauber Formel 1
Wildbachstrasse 9,
8340 Hinwil,

Tel: +41 1 938 1400
Fax: +41 1 938 1670


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