World News – AU – The Swiss Sauber joins the Elite Team Club in F1


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Switzerland, a country that has banned auto racing for 60 years, will see its only Formula 1 team join the elite club on Sunday in big sportswear.

The humble Swiss Sauber will begin its historic 500th race at the Turkish Grand Prix – a feat achieved by only three other teams, led by Ferrari.

The Hinwil-based team, founded by Peter Sauber as a sports car apparel, entered Formula 1 in 1993 and has raced since then under various identities including BMW Sauber and, more recently, Alfa Romeo..

This weekend at the Istanbul Park circuit, Kimi Raikkonen is the same as the singles record holder for most Formula 1 entries – he started his number 326 on Sunday – he will allow himself a smile of fun.

He raced back with the team that made his debut in 2001, after spells with McLaren, Ferrari and Lotus, and is proud of the survival and achievements of the Swiss pirate team. .

“The team is a little bigger than when I started out in Formula One with them,” the 2007 world champion, now 41, recalls,.

“They are a fit team. We have all the tools, and we build cars. The gearbox and motor come from Ferrari, but apart from that, we do it all.

In his first season, Sauber finished fourth in the constructors’ championship, their best result. Since then, despite being sold to BMW and repurchased, the Sauber brand has persisted.

« Money is always an issue with small teams, » Raikkonen said. « But that’s the way it is. ».

“It’s a fantastic number – 500 – the team has achieved and I think only three others have done more Grand Prix.

“So, I think a special team have been here for a long time, have survived some really difficult times, and hopefully we can go even higher in the years to come..

Ferrari, McLaren and Williams are three competing teams that have entered more races. They also won the most team titles.

By contrast, the Sauber has only one win to show for his longevity, and that came along with Robert Kubica at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix when BMW was under control.

Raikkonen’s teammate Italian teammate Antonio Giovinazzi, one of Ferrari’s stepson in his third season, likewise arouses affection for the unknown Swiss team that has sponsored and developed several young drivers, including current Ferrari star Charles Leclerc..

“It’s an amazing feat, a small team like a Sauber doing an amazing 500 Grands Prix,” he said. “I am proud even if I am a small part of this record, because for me it is such an important team.

“I made my debut with them in 2017, it was my first full season with them, and now my third season is with them.

Although the Swiss investment group Longbow Finance took over the team, it kept its home and employees at Hinwil and its Swiss identity when it was in financial danger in 2016.

“I am proud to be part of this family,” Giovinazzi said. “To be a small team, they achieve great results and have a great track record like this.

Switzerland banned motor racing after the 24-hour Le Mans tragedy in 1955 when 83 spectators were killed after a car collided with a crowd.

Team Sauber F1, Formula 1, Kimi Räikkönen, Formula Racing, Turkish Grand Prix, Scuderia Ferrari

World News – African Confederation – The Swiss Sauber team joins the Elite Team Club of F1


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