Sauber at 50: a Swiss success story

Sauber celebrates half a century of history today, as the company marks the 50th anniversary of its founding on the 15th of May, 1970. Since that day, when Peter Sauber started the eponymous brand, the name has become a familiar one in motor racing, moving from hillclimbs to circuit racing before achieving success at the highest levels of sportscar racing and making the move to Formula One at the beginning of the 1993 season.

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In this time, the team helped launch the careers of many fast drivers, including past (and likely future) World Champions; and it extended into a business comprising thriving Engineering and Aerodynamics arms.

The Sauber Group of today has built on the know-how matured in racing to become a trove of expertise, a concern capable of competing on the world stage not just on the track, but in industry. A restructuring of the group brought stability and investment and, under the leadership of CEO, Frédéric Vasseur, both core and third-party business are thriving, pushed by a relentless drive to diversify the Group’s business and be a player outside the automotive and motorsport worlds.

In Sauber Engineering, it boasts the most advanced Swiss company in the field of additive manufacturing, alongside top-end design, development and manufacturing capabilities; this enabled the company to become active in the healthcare, packaging and automotive sectors, among others, driving innovation and generating new business lines for the concern.

The Sauber wind tunnel, initially constructed to aid the team’s motorsport efforts, is now the cornerstone of Sauber Aerodynamics’s offering and the most advanced full-scale facility in the region. Widely recognised as one of the most advanced such structures in the automotive and motorsport world, it is in use by an array of clients from various sectors. It is a parable of technology transfer – from the race track to everyday life – one that keeps developing as the Sauber Group makes inroad in new sectors of business.

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The Sauber Group also puts sustainability at the core of its effort. From the way the team goes racing to the innovative ways in which energy and waste are managed in its Hinwil facilities, the environment is central to the philosophy of the company. Certified as carbon-neutral since 2011, the company has been a pioneer in its sector, ensuring the various operational arms of the Group could operate in a clean, climate-friendly way. The unveiling of a full sustainability strategy in early 2020, encompassing the company’s efforts for the environment and the communities it operates in, enables the Sauber Group to continue its growth in a sensible, positive manner, a way of doing things suited for today’s world – and for the next 50 years of our history.

On the day of its 50th anniversary, the team looks back on a proud heritage of innovative design, entrepreneurial spirit and, first and foremost, passion for racing. The pride in what we have done, however, is not what drives us forward. For the focus of the Sauber Group is on driving forward, as the company prepares for the next fifty years of its history.

To celebrate this anniversary, the team unveiled a new commemorative logo and installed special branding at its Hinwil headquarters. A selection of former and current Sauber drivers have also sent in their congratulatory messages: the video is available on Sauber’s YouTube channel and here.

Frédéric Vasseur, CEO Sauber Motorsport AG: 

“Today marks an important milestone in the history of Sauber Motorsport. 50 years in this business is a long time, but Sauber has always managed to reinvent itself throughout all the challenges that it faced. At its core, its biggest strength is the people that built it and that still make sure it can compete at the highest level: its employees. Today’s celebrations are a tribute to the hard work, commitment and passion for racing of each one of them – and a wish for the next 50 years to be even more successful than the last ones.”

Kimi Räikkönen (race driver, car number 7): 

“I want to wish the best to Sauber on the day of their 50th birthday. It is a team that means so much to me as it was here that I had my Formula One debut and I am thankful for the great times we had together. Obviously, there was a great team history already before I joined, and the team went on to do great afterwards; now we are together again, ready to write new pages of this history, and I hope there will be many more great moments.”

Antonio Giovinazzi (race driver, car number 99): 

“Sauber has been a really special and important team from me, so happy 50th birthday! I have a lot of good memories with the team, most obviously my debut in Melbourne, back in 2017. It’s a special place to drive and it’ll always be the team where I have been an official Formula One driver for the first time. I wish for many happy moments and to hopefully celebrate a podium together soon.”

Robert Kubica (reserve driver):

Today is a very special day, marking the 50th year of a long history, not only in Formula One but in motorsports. This team has always been made of great people and it has been a pleasure to race for them. This is where I made my debut, back in 2006, which was the biggest opportunity for myself and my career. I have a lot of great memories from these days, and the victory in Canada in 2008 was definitely one of the greatest moments in my racing life. I’d like to congratulate all the people who wrote the history of Sauber, but also wish all the best and good luck to the new people, the new faces I had the chance to meet upon my return to Hinwil, our home. I wish the team 50, 100 more years of great history in motorsport.”

Tatiana Calderón (test driver): 

“Congratulations to the whole team, I wish you all the best for the next 50 years. I have a lot of great memories with Sauber, but the most special moment is of course when I first jumped into a Formula One car, in Mexico back in 2018. It was a very special feeling, a dream come true. To work with the whole team at the track was an incredible experience that I will remember forever. As a child, I always dreamed to become an F1 driver and to be working with a team with as much history as Sauber.”