Category Archives: Sauber F1 Team

Formula One: Nasr committed to Sauber for 2017 – JWGP Exclusive Interview

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 13.39.35.png

Ahead of the 2016 Hungarian Grand Prix, JWGP caught up with UK based Brazilian driver Felipe Nasr to discuss his season to date, his views on the halo device and future regulation changes, along with a view on his plans for 2017 and beyond.

  • As we head towards the mid point in the F1 season, how would you rate your performance so far?

Felipe Nasr: In absolute terms it might look not good, relatively to last year it is not good, but when you look deep into it I think it is a good performance. Together with the Team we managed to do some very good races.

  • How have you developed as a driver from 2015-2016?

FN: Learning, the popular saying goes, never exhausts the mind! I can say that, I am more excited every day with the developments we have made and those that we have in the pipeline.

  • From a driver’s perspective can you explain the impact of the challenges Sauber have faced in 2016?

FN: We are a big family and whenever one part of it is suffering, we all suffer together. One impact in one point reverberates everywhere.

  • How do you approach a race weekend? What motivates you?

FN: Besides the physical preparation a lot of mental focus. The motivation comes from the fact that I am living my dream: to be a F1 driver one of the 22 chosen ones.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 13.45.20.png

  • What would you say are the key strengths of the 2016 Sauber? Which of the circuits left on the calendar do you expect the car to suit?

FN: We have a good project base from 2015 and with the proper modifications the car can be competitive and score points. We have one update now in Hungary and other packages in races 13 and 14. We are all positively waiting for that.

  • What would you like to see from your team through the remainder of 2016?

FN: The same enthusiasm and commitment that they showed until now.

  • What do you think of the 2017 regulation changes? Do you think they will improve racing? Have Sauber started working on the 2017 car?

FN:It is in the F1 DNA to keep changing and improving. For sure the races will have another balance of power, here at Sauber we have not given up on the 2016 car, but we have already thoughts about what the 2017 car will be.

  • What is your position on the Halo system? Do you think it is the right solution? Is this the right direction for the sport?

FN: A solution has to be found and I am sure that the best one will be chosen.

  • Looking ahead to 2017, you will be out of contract with Sauber, are you talking to other teams on the grid? If so which?

FN: I have a contract with Sauber until the end of the year, I have to think about the here and the now. Why not to continue here in 2017, after putting so much effort together?

  • Have the team kept you informed regarding commercial developments to secure the future of the team? Do you believe they will find a solution?

FN: As I said before we are a family and we have to be honest and talk about everything between us, I can assure you that the solution is already there.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 13.44.42.png

  • Brazil has a strong heritage in motorsport, how important is the continued fan support to you? What do you think about rumours Interlagos may disappear from the calendar?

FN: Brazil also has a very strong tradition about rumours, it is not the first time that the end of Interlagos is announced. I am sure that in the end everything will be arranged.

  • How would you describe the F1 paddock atmosphere?

FN: Competitive, highly competitive all the time!

  • Can you give a bit of background as to your Banco do Brasil relationship? how did it come about? what does the partnership mean for you and prospective future developments?

FN: Banco do Brasil started sponsoring me when I still was racing in GP2. They wanted to diversify as they were heavily concentrated on Volleyball.  For them it was a very good move and they are very happy both in the promotional and commercial aspects, Motor Racing opened a lot of new opportunities for them and their products all over the World. For me they are fundamental for future developments and plans.

  • What do you think of racing series such as Formula E or WEC? Would you consider a drive in either of these series after Formula One?

FN: Formula E has [seen] a lot of success and WEC has always been one of the stepping stones of Motor Racing. They are both options for my racing career after F1.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 13.52.11.png

JWGP would like to thank Felipe Nasr for taking time out of his Hungarian GP preparations for this interview. Thanks also to Carlos Lua for facilitating our time together. All the best to Felipe Nasr and the Sauber F1Team for the Hungarian GP and the remainder of the season.

You can follow Felipe Nasr on Twitter here & the Sauber F1 Team here

Advertisements

Formula One: No holding back from Monisha

Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 21.18.01.png

Sauber Team Principle Monisha Kaltenborn has made her disappointment with drivers Marcus Ericsson & Felipe Nasr clear for all this evening commenting:

” It was unacceptable behaviour by both drivers. Today the work of the whole team ended in a collusion. Marcus and Felipe both know how much work is put into every race weekend. They have the responsibility to make it to the end of the race. After evaluating the overall situation, it was important to bring the fastest car as far as possible to the front, so that we were able to used any chances. Our decision was based on the data from both cars. After this, we have clarified the situation internally and both drivers are aware of their responsibilities. Such an incident will not happen again.”

Perhaps reflecting on happier times for the Swiss team Monisha went on to congratulate former driver Sergio Perez on his podium finish:

“I also want to say a word to our previous driver Sergio Pérez and Force India: Congratulations on the third place in Monaco.”

Reflecting on the race Ericsson commented:

“A very disappointing end to the race. We had taken a bit of a gamble, so I was first to pit for slicks. It worked out, but it was not ideal as I was caught out by blue flags. I had to go off the line and let other drivers pass, which meant I struggled to get the temperatures up in my tyres. When the tyres started to work, I caught Felipe, but got stuck behind him. I was told that Felipe received a call via the radio. Then I saw a gap and tried to overtake him, but we all saw what then happened. It is a difficult situation for us, and it is even more important to stick together as a team in these times. I apologise, and I am sure that this will not happen again in the future.”

The FIA have awarded Marcus a 3 place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix and 6 penalty points on his license.

Equally disappointed was Brazilian Felipe Nasr:

“It is a shame that neither of us finished the race. It is the worst scenario that can happen for us as a team. Marcus and I were on different strategies, so his second pit stop was earlier than mine. My tyres started to get up to temperature, and I was catching the cars in front. For me it was not the right timing to swap positions. Suddenly, in Rascasse I felt my car being hit. It is surely disappointing for everyone as the whole team works very hard. I apologise for what happened. We need to make sure that this will never happen again.”

The Sauber F1 Team are yet to register a points paying finish in the 2016 Formula One World Championship.

Formula One: Strong Swiss Franc threatens Sauber’s Future

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 11.26.20

The supercharged nature of Switzerland’s currency, the Swiss Franc, is having threatening Sauber’s ability to remain on the F1 grid. Given Swiss neutrality to EU legislation (as a non EU member) and a taxation system encouraging corporate domicile, during times of economic turbulence the Swiss Franc is perceived as a safe investment, the impact of which leads to a disproportionately strong currency, which put simply means the value of finance coming into a company such as the Sauber F1 team from sources outside of country has been increasingly diminished.

Speaking in the FIA Team Press Conference at the Russian Grand Prix yesterday Team representative  Beat Zehinder commented:

“A simple figure: in 2007, one dollar was 1.5 Swiss francs. Now we have parity. So what we had income in dollars is now worth 50 per cent less. Switzerland doesn’t make it really easy”

Sources of income for the Sauber F1 Team are seen in FOM prize fund payments, which are understood to be paid in either GBP or US Dollars, driver sponsorship payments which come from Brazil (BRL) and Sweden (SEK), and additional sponsorship income from UK and US partners. It can be assumed that agreements around these revenue streams will have been made in the currency from which the agreement originates, not the currency of recipient (Sauber) The below graphs illustrate the diminishing value of agreements from these sources.

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 10.47.00Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 10.51.11Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 10.47.47Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 10.48.32

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 10.47.22

Source: http://www.xe.com/

Whilst many costs involved with the Sauber F1 Team may be made in Euro’s such as the Ferrari PU supply agreement, fixed costs such as employee salary and facility operational costs, will be made in local currency. This limits the teams ability to mitigate the strength of the Swiss Franc.

The strength of the Swiss Franc is has such an impact on teams finances that Sauber could finish as high as 5th in the World Championship and the net payment to the team in local currency would leave them with the lowest overall team payment.

Formula One Management could move to support Sauber during this challenging economic period through making payments to the team through it’s own Swiss head-office applying an inflationary  and currency adjusted payment. Or through rewarding the Swiss team in the same way Williams, Mclaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, and Mercedes are as teams of historical relevance to the sport. Sauber have been involved in Formula 1 for over 32 years making them the 4th oldest team on the grid.

With the strength of the Swiss Franc unlikely to diminish in the short to medium term the future economic viability of the team without support appears increasingly bleak.

 

Formula One: Online Gaming Group AG88 join Sauber, more to follow?

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 15.54.04.png

The Sauber F1 Team have announced a race partnership with Dranix Technology Development Limited for two upcoming Formula One GPs in Asia. One of its brands, AG88, will act as a Race Partner of the Sauber F1 Team at the 2016 Singapore Airlines Grand Prix, as well as at the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix. AG88 is an Asian online entertainment provider. It is the leader in the Asian online gaming industry, and China is one of the most important markets.

During this year’s Singapore Airlines Grand Prix and the Japanese Grand Prix, the AG88 logo will appear on the upper sides of the sidepods, as well as on the garage walls.

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with AG88, the leader in the Asian online gaming industry, ahead of the Grand Prix in Shanghai. We will ensure we do our very best in providing AG88 a platform to increase its brand exposure in Asia, especially during the Singapore Grand Prix, as well as the Japanese Grand Prix.”

Judy Chen, Marketing Manager of AG88.com

“Both AG88.com and the Sauber F1 Team are dedicated to creativity, and have been going through constant innovations to achieve their goals to improve their core competitiveness. This cooperation between the two leading teams can be seen as demonstrating that they are now sharing the same values. Due to the hard work and endless efforts of all the employees, AG88.com has become one of the best leading online gaming brands in the world. AG88.com has always been seeking partnerships with companies with extreme passion and the desire of pursuing excellence. We are delighted to become a partner with the Sauber F1 Team, and are also looking forward to co-organising some exciting events and performances in Singapore and Suzuka.”

You can visit AG88.com here
The Sauber F1 Team establishing partnerships with the online gaming  / gambling sector  may open doors for other teams to explore such partnerships, with the industry somewhat under represented in the sport at this time. This is a great development for the team and the sport in general.

Formula One: Nasr unhappy with Sauber

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 00.22.57.png

After qualifying 22nd for the Bahrain Grand Prix  Felipe Nasr reported unexplainable changes in the handling and performance of his C35 between Free Practice 3 and Qualifying.  Nasr has requested the team remove his car from Parc Ferme conditions, and strip down the car to understand and resolve the issue. Such a move from the team would result in Nasr being forced to start tomorrow’s race from the pitlane.

Following Qualifying Nasr commented:

““Clearly, we do have some issues with my car. We have to look into this in more detail”

At this time the team have not confirmed how they will addresses the issues reported. The sister C35 driven by Marcus Ericsson qualified in 17th position.  Reflecting on qualifying Ericsson remarked:

““It was a decent qualifying, even though the result is not satisfying. As a team we have done a good job over the weekend with regard to the set-up of the car. We all know that we need to find more pace, because we cannot be happy being knocked out in Q1 again. We want to proceed and go further. For the moment we have to see what tomorrow brings. The race is a different story, but, as always, I will do my best.”

Sauber Team Principle Monisha Kaltenborn is not attending the Bahrain Grand Prix, electing to remain in Switzerland to focus on pressing issues. The FIA were alerted to this with Monisha failing to attend the Team Principle Press conference on Friday, something which would normally result in a fine for the team but the FIA have confirmed no action will be taken.

 

 

 

Formula One: Sauber refresh online presence

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 16.40.18.png

Sauber F1 Team kicks off with its new website and fully automated web platform.

With the re-launch of sauberf1team.com, the Swiss team is going in a new direction in terms of engagement, offering its visitors a modern and responsive digital experience.

The new homepage is specifically designed to pull the visitor into the world of the Sauber F1 Team with a single call to action and a focus on the latest information and stories. The clear layout and menu structure makes it easy for visitors to quickly find what they are looking for. Visitors using pcs are able to enjoy a sophisticated interactive menu, while the navigation for mobile users is streamlined and optimised for the respective devices. The new digital experience integrates articles, a blog, social media integration and, photos as well as videos.

Visitors may now dive into the team’s rich racing history and race car heritage, interactively experiencing everything from Peter Sauber’s first tuning attempts to the more recent Formula One era.

More and versatile content will be developed and released throughout the year. Besides offering a new shopping experience to fans, the new website design also allows a more visible, yet individual representation of the team partners.

Formula One: Mark Smith leaves Sauber

Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 16.56.48

The Sauber F1 Team have confirmed that Technical Director Mark Smith has left the team, citing family reasons for his unexpected departure. He has already returned to the UK. Mark Smith joined Sauber in 2014 having held Technical Director positions with the Caterham F1 Team and Force India.

The 2016 C35 was the first car from the Hinwil to originate entirely from Mark Smith’s design. This news follows a troubling few weeks for the Swiss team during which it had been confirmed a number of employees were not paid in full for the month of February.

 

 

Formula One: Watchmaker Edox joins Sauber

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 12.16.10

The Sauber F1 Team have announced Edox as a Premium Partner ahead of the 2016 FIA Formula One Championship. The swiss watch manufacturer Edox embodies more than 130 years of innovation and Swiss watchmaking tradition.

Edox is one of Switzerland’s fastest growing watch manufacturers for luxurious timepieces dedicated to the worlds of motorsport and watersports, but it also offers a stylish range for sophisticated watch aficionados.

Since its beginnings, Edox has had a very clear vision of its growth and development thanks to its innovative ideas and ceaseless design research, while simultaneously maintaining the classic traditions of watchmaking know-how. Edox has thus become a benchmark brand in timekeeping for sports competitions. In Ancient Greek, Edox means measuring time. As the official watch partner of the Sauber F1 Team, Edox underlines the sporting values of the quest for performance, precision and pushing oneself to the limit.


Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal of the Sauber F1 Team:
“We are very pleased to be able to announce a new partnership with such a prestigious brand. Edox and the Sauber F1 Team are a perfect match and it is great to have Edox on board as one of our Premium Partners in what is a long-term partnership. Not only are crafts and timing two shared attributes that define both companies, there are also strong foundations between our companies. Both companies have a tradition as family businesses in Switzerland and stand for efficiency, accuracy, high-tech, design, further development and continuing optimisation.”

Alexandre Strambini, CEO of Montres Edox & Vista SA:
“Formula One is an ideal platform for our brand. Formula One, and the Sauber F1 Team in particular, stands for Swiss precision, cutting-edge technology, innovation and history. These are all values which have similarly strengthened the Edox brand philosophy from the beginning, and which define our affinity with motorsport’s crowning discipline. Furthermore, Formula One enjoys above-average popularity in Europe, America and Asia, where Edox has a growing distribution. For us, as a Swiss watch company with a watchmaking history dating back more than 130 years, it is very important to work together with the appropriate team. With its Swiss roots, high performance aspirations and a huge popularity rating, the Sauber F1 Team is the ideal partner for us. We will soon launch the first amazing timepiece carefully engineered for the fastest drivers on our planet.”

Edox replace long-standing partner Certina as the Sauber F1 Team’s watch partner.

Formula One: BLICK post images of the 2016 Sauber livery

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 12.32.25

German publication BLICK have posted images of the 2015 Sauber F1 C34 in with the updated 2016 livery (intended for the C35)

The team have already confirmed plans to take the C34 to the first pre-season test in Barcelona, with the C35 set to make it’s début in the final pre-season test.

Additions to the 2016 livery include CNBC, Malbuner Power Slice, and previously unannounced partner IFS, a business software development firm.

The full BLICK (German) article can be found here.

 

Formula One: Sauber C35 set for March 1st debut

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 14.47.36

The Sauber F1 Team have confirmed the 2015 C34 will be taken to the first test of the 2016 test in Barcelona. The C34 will be adorned with the 2016 race livery.

The team will bring the 2016 C35 to the second and final pre-season test of the 2016 Formula One calender also in Barcelona 1 week later on March 1st, leaving the team only 4 days of running in the new car and a little over 3 weeks until the season opener in Melbourne Australia.

The team have previously stated that the C35 will be more evolution than revolution of the C34. The team have not commented on the rationale not taking the C35 to the first pre-season test.