Debut: Great Britain, 1950
Grands Prix: 111
Constructor’s Championships: 0
Driver’s Championships: 0
Team Principal: Frederic Vasseur
Significant Others: Frederic Vasseur – Ex-Renault head Peter Lorre impressionist now calling the shots after previous CEO Monisha Kaltenborn’s “disagreements” (a.k.a. thinking Marcus Ericsson was a waste of space) got her the sack
History: Sauber – uh! – what is it good for? A stalking horse for other manufacturers’ marketing needs of a pedigree only good enough for Chum, Sauber used to be proudly independent in a strongarmed-by-Mercedes type way then sold out to BMW.
BMW may have seemed thicker than rhinos bumwad but weren’t so stupid to keep ploughing money into something 20 times more expensive than running about that many cars in the DTM which brought them more success and exposure to exactly the market they wanted to sell to and promptly sold it back to Sauber 3 years later at a massive loss.
Any smugness on Peter Sauber’s face swiftly evaporated once confronted with the hand-to-mouth-to-trousers-to-bank-manager realities of keeping a 21st Century F1 team afloat and he eventually sold the whole thing to Swedish-veiled consortium, Longbow Finance giving the team the instant kudos of a Barratt Homes takeover plus accompanying kit sponsorship deal of a struggling Premier League club.
Securing Honda engines for a long enough period to know it was the worst decision ever made in the history of motorsport outside when Mclaren did it – 10 minutes – Sauber changed tack in 2017 to instead use Ferrari engines, call themselves Alfa Romeo and take the former’s test driver and be goddam grateful for it.
Technically owned by some of the wealthiest billionaires in Sweden – and hence, the world – if they can’t make Ericsson look fast nobody can, (hint: it’s nobody).
Distinguishing Markings: A mauve cloverleaf like the one that used to be on the Alfa Romeo 33 Cloverleaf which sounded nice but didn’t go very fast and used to break down a lot. This is known as “Synergy Branding” by wankers.
Reasons to support them, part 1: There are only 10 teams on the grid and you support this one? (said in the Princess Leia voice when enquiring of Han Solo, “you came to rescue me in that? You’re braver than I thought”)
Split Personality? A Swiss company partly sold to a mystery Swiss consortium actually owned by Swedish billionaires who actually own the company that paid Marcus Ericsson’s salary who then leased engines from Ferrari in return for taking their junior driver and agreeing to call themselves the name of a subsidiary company of the former for frankly incomprehensible marketing purposes. Then Alfa Romeo properly bought them only really they’re owned by Fiat who own Ferrari. Or is it Chrylser? Carlos Tevez had a less complicated ownership structure
Owned By: Previously, a shadowy cabal of Swedish industrialists, financiers and retailers with nothing in common save their nationality and a baffling need to prove Marcus Ericsson’s lacklustre junior career didn’t reflect his lacklustre ability. Now Fiat who similarly take up a wing of Italy’s equivalent of Company’s House
Fun fact(s): Via Sauber, Alfa Romeo are F1’s 4th oldest team on the grid – assuming you don’t seriously think they started in 1911? This means 1993 is now officially heritage in F1 terms. The sort of fact on the ground football’s MK Dons would kill for.
Not to be confused with: Sauron – the Necromancer, chief lieutenant of the Dark Lord Morgoth; other once-proud independent teams that eventually turned to embarrassing clod-hoppers; Williams; an actual Alfa Romeo