After months of financial difficulties Sauber have been brought by the Swiss investment company Longbow Finance in a deal which secures their F1 stay. It has been a difficult season for the team with them struggling with cashflow with Autosport reporting last month that the team had Sauber had found a solution to save it from collapse.
There will be no changes to the team with team principal and CEO Monisha Kaltenborn remaining in charge of the team. But chairman and founder Peter Sauber has retired from motorsport however the team will retain his name. Kaltenborn said “We are very pleased we can secure the future of Sauber at the pinnacle of motorsport. We are convinced that Longbow Finance is the perfect partner to again make the team competitive and successful in F1.”
The team was briefly owned by German car manufacturer BWM between 2006 and 2009 when the car firm pulled out and sold the team back to Mr Sauber. Although founder Sauber stepped in to keep alive the team who bear his name, their existence since then has been precarious.
“I am very happy that my courageous investment to buy the team back, which I made six years ago with the intention to secure the base in Hinwil and the place in F1, has proved to be correct,” he said.
Mr Sauber will be replaced as Chairman by Pascal Picci the president and CEO of Longbow Finance, which has been active in financial investments for more than 20 years. Longbow are a Finance firm based in Swizterland. Kaltenborn added: “We are convinced that Longbow Finance SA is the perfect partner to again make the team competitive and successful in Formula 1.”
“At the same time the new structure will allow us to finally further expand our third party business in which we commercialise our know-how. This solution is in the best interest of our employees, partners, loyal suppliers, the base in Hinwil and for the Swiss motorsport.”
The news will be seen as a boost for the team who have not brought upgrades this season and have missed both in-season tests, with a lack of new parts to test one of the key reasons. This will also help with the 2017 program when major regulation changes are brought in to make cars faster.