Sauber takes Toyota’s place on 2010 grid

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BMW wave goodbye but they'll return in 2010 as Sauber

The FIA has confirmed Sauber will be granted the 13th slot on the 2010 F1 grid after it was left vacant by departing rivals Toyota.

Although the team have officially competed as ‘BMW-Sauber’ for the past four years, this confirms the return of Sauber as an independent outfit in F1, last seen in 2005.

Sauber still have to sign the Concorde Agreement which will guarantee their space on the grid.

It remains to be seen if Toyota will have to pay a fine to the FIA for leaving the sport despite having committed to it until 2012.

Sauber have been tipped to use Ferrari engines next year, as they did in F1 from 1997-2005, during which time they were badged Petronas.

However hopes for a full 13-team grid may yet be dashed as Renault have not confirmed their participation in 2010.

Read more: 2010 F1 drivers and teams

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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61 comments on “Sauber takes Toyota’s place on 2010 grid”

  1. Good stuff. Looks like we may be approaching the second age of the privateer, especially with the Dave Richards/Renault rumours.

    Superficially, I hope Sauber comes up with a great new livery. Something yellow perhaps?

    1. The second age of the privateer. Nice. I like that. Sounds like something we may eventually remember these transformations for ushering in.

    2. It’s crazy how quickly F1 has been transformed over the last few months. If someone had of told me this time last year that 3/ 4 manufacturers would quit and that there would be 6/ 7 new teams by 2010, I’d have thought they were mad

    3. Sauber should go back to their original black and white. Would looks very classy. Excellent news to hear they’ll be on the grid again next season!

  2. I think Prodrive will buy Renault. Renault will hang on to engines (I can’t see them leaving f1 permanently as they could never do it before) and then few years maybe Aston Martin will be the name?
    As for Sauber if they do use Ferrari power does this mean in 2011 they could train Bianchi up for the Italian marque?
    Koby could go to Sauber. Toyota could have stopped them getting a slot by selling but they haven’t.
    Will Nick stay with Sauber?
    Robert Kubica-stay with Renault or whoever they become or go for Mercedes drive and fight Nick for the seat?

    1. mmm i would love to see prodrive in f1, but i also want renault to stay. if i had to choose one of them it would have to be prodrive i just think renault are too much damaged goods after crash-gate.

      interesting though that prodrive havnt been let in already by the fia, they could be considered a manufacturer with links to aston martin etc, yet they do not have a grid spot. yet.

  3. Good news…

  4. Are they getting #’s 26-27?

    1. They should do. If Renault pull out and a new team replace Renault, then I believe that new team will then get 28-29 on their cars.

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        3rd December 2009, 21:44

        No, if Renault pull out, they will get the 26 and27. Force India will get their numbers – the 11 and 12 – and everyone else ill moev up two numbers (with the possible exception of Campos, who mayretain the 21 for sponsor purposes). We’ve been over this: the only reason there was no 18 and 19 this season was because Honda pulled out very late, and by the time numbers were assigned, Force India had already ordered merchandise with the numbers 20 and 21. As Brawn were a new team and had no rights to the 18 and 19, they were given the 22 and 23 instead.

        1. They may get lower numbers assigned as they aren’t a new team…. However as they are past the official submission date the likelihood is that voids them from being able to demand the numbers they would have originally got.

          1. (numbers 9 and 10 I believe)

          2. Great news to see Sauber and 13 teams in F1.

            Hope they tell us soon about the car numbers, as car 22 has won the WDC the last 2 years.

            At the moment US F1 have car 22. Might be a good omen for them?

          3. Prisoner Monkeys
            3rd December 2009, 23:29

            (numbers 9 and 10 I believe)

            No, thos are Williams’ numbers. Renault currently have the 11 and 12.

  5. I am glad that Sauber will be on the grid next year, while I wouldn’t class myself as a fan of Sauber I prefer them to be on the grid rather than a completely new team or someone else who had bought Toyota.

  6. I notice some differnces in the way how BMW and Toyota quit F1.

    Toyota promised at the start of the year, that they will score their first F1 win or will quit .

    Toyota had hope of winning (and securing the team’s future) till the very last race, i think they would have stayed if they scored their first win as they were openly talking to top drivers like kubica and raikkenon till the last minute, continusly denying they will quit and saying it’s normal for the budget to be signed so late and also signed concorde agreement.

    All this indicate that the team wanted to stay and that first win was the only barrier which prevented.

    BMW on other hand did nothing like this, they never promised about winning titles but Mario thiessen just said that naturally after doing very good last year, titles should be their target for 2009 but it’s not like if they didn’t manage to win championships they will quit. Also they knew very early and made a solid decision to pull out as the road car division is doing very bad. They didn’t indulge in new driver talks and signings and didn’t sign the concorde agreement.

    I am sad for the World’s biggest and richest car company, Toyota even after spending so much in F1 they will be remembered as failures, to add insult to injury might even get a big fine on their way out. There are big lessons to be learned from Toyota’s F1 program and i am sure the clever people of F1 have learned many. One clear lesson is driver counts for a lot. Top driver does make big differences.

  7. Great news. Salut Gilles- I’d love to see it back again.

    1. yea, Salut Gilles. I would love to see #27 return to F1 again. Hopefully Jacques will return to F1 as well, seems to be Lotus.

  8. Renault are having a meeting over their f1 future as per autosport. Let us see the outcome of the meeting.

    1. I hope it’ll be sold to Richards.

  9. This is great news !!! cheers

  10. Great news for F1 fans.

    The Sauber team seems to have new life, and we may see Richards finally returning to the grid. Now all we need is to hear some good news about Silverstone.


    1. Good news, but I must admit a part of me is slighty disapointed- I was hoping Stefan GP would make the grid. They have the makings of the most incompetent team since Andrea Moda

      1. Prisoner Monkeys
        3rd December 2009, 23:39

        That’s true, but the problem with an incompetent team would be that it would ruin the careers of potentially good drivers since you need to ave at least a little skill to be at the point where a Formua 1 team will consider you these days.

        Tht said, the likes of Nelson Piquet and Andy Soucek have already ruined their own carers, so they’d be the ideal choices for Stefan.

  12. and still hoping here that indeed renault will stay (maybe as prodrive and engine supplier).. and toyota will be taken over and granted a 14th slot!

    107% rule back and here we go!!

  13. Will Sauber the first team to ‘quit’ F1 then return a few years later? And I mean the same team, not the same name- Lotus and Renault don’t count

    1. March – fielded cars in one form or another from 1970-1977, sort of returned for 1981-82, returned properly in 1987 before selling to title sponsor Leyton House and collapsing at the end of 1992.

  14. YES!!!GREAT NEWS!!

  15. great to see a team we didnt expect to come back. More the fun and better the raceing mid and low end of grid :) BMW/sauber where always top and mid.

  16. Perfect time to bring this up again:

    a petition to number ten to make F1 a protected sport within the UK.

    1. Considering how much the BBC paid for it this time round its hardly needs protecting, didn’t they offer more than double what ITV offered.

      You should be petitioning the BBC SHOULD pay for it, as the number of viewers make it completely viable. It is not the governments job to control TV – that is the very reason why the BBC is independent.

      I am all for scrapping the TV license and instead offering BBC as a subscription. So many of us just do not care for the junk they pump out these days. The couple of shows I could happily live without and would rather spend the money on programs I do want to watch.

      1. the BBC contract is 5 years so we have a while before panic sets in anyway

      2. We are also the only country that gets all practice sessions and qualifying and race for “free” live on TV. So it’s not that much doom and gloom. I’m happy to pay the license fee while we still get F1, England football matches (including World Cup) and a few comedy programs.

        10% of the BBC license fee covers moving to digital so actually funds the extra free channels. Also the license fee indirectly funds Channel 4 partially.

        BBC Radio and the BBC site again all funded by the license, including iPlayer.

        Maybe its not such a bad deal after all!

        A lot of people “moan” including myself because they do not watch much BBC on TV – just because the TV is the item that hands legal requirement for requiring a TV license its only a fraction of what it pays for. And if it was scrapped it would not only be TV that disappears.

  17. Anyone know who the drivers might be?

  18. Glad to see Sauber back :)

    Hopefully Dave Richards will take over Renault now. I’m not anti-manufacturer, but with Honda, BMW, and Toyota, they seemed to lack a bit of soul that somehow McLaren and Ferrari seemed to maintain. Maybe it’s because both started as privateers and evolved into (at different stages, though) manufacturers, rather than being bought out by them.

  19. Is this the same as how Brawn has changed to Mercedes GP? So, basically all the pit crew etc will still be the same so there won’t be any redundancies etc?

    1. Their is still big restructuring – I think about 1/3rd of the team is to go. But it is essentially the same team under new ownership.

      The main reason (to my understanding) this often happens (even when its less simple than this, and much more drastic in changes) is it means they do not have to make any massive down payment as a “new” team to F1, instead it is just classed as a name change / ownership change.

  20. Another construction champion on da makin?? lol

  21. Sauber will run Ferrari engine behind them.There are rumours that David Richards’ Prodrive organisation are poised to acquire Renault’s F1 team.Renault will supply engines through to the end of the 2012 season & part of the deal with Prodrive would see the Banbury-based company use Renault engines.

    I hope Toyota manages a slot on the grid.

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      4th December 2009, 1:52

      Toyota aren’t coming back, wasi. They wouldn’t have withdrwn in the first place if that were the case. And they can’t come back now – Sauber have their grid slot. Given the way they backed out of the championship after signing the Concorde Agreement, I doubt the FIA would be too enthusiastic about letting them back in.

  22. I’m sorry, but I don’t understand.

    What’s so good about Dave Richard?

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      4th December 2009, 2:54

      Dave Richards runs Prodrive, one of the msot successful racing teams in multiple categories. It was Prodrive that ran the Subaru Imprezas in rallying in the 1990s, Prodirve who have fielded successful Le Mans teams and Prodrive who have cometed in the BTCC. They are one of the largest and most successful racing teams in the world that have yet to compete in Formula One.

    2. …and don’t forget that before Brawn, BAR/Hondas most successful years were under Dave Richards, especially 2004.

  23. And another thing, why BMW Sauber?

    1. Prisoner Monkeys
      4th December 2009, 2:55

      BMW purchased Sauber at the end of the 2005 season and stylised the team as their own. They retained the Sauber name out of respect for the team they had purchased. But BMW are now withdrawing, and the team as been sold back to Peter Sauber, the man who started it all.

    2. They did the same thing when the were Williams’ partners. “BMW.Williams F1 team” if I’m not mistaken.

      1. I’m pretty sure it was Williams-BMW in standard chassis-engine designation and BMW bought out Sauber as they wanted a bigger say in how their F1 interests were run. Unsurprisingly Frank Williams was having none of it!

        1. The official name of Williams was BMW.Williams for at least some of the seasons they were with BMW if not for the whole time, the same way that a title sponsor often gets their name before the teams, such as AT&T Williams in 2009. My understanding is that BMW had to pay Williams quite a bit to get their name first.

          One of the reasons BMW ended their relationship with Williams was because they wanted more say in the running of the team and to buy at least a part of the team like Mercedes did with McLaren.

  24. Congrats Sauber folks. Good to see that the team is alive. Wish you all the very best.

    This is what I don’t like about the manufacturers. They buy a team and and they pull out as if trashing a piece of paper leaving a good teams and careers of good talents to rot. I hope Mercedes don’t do a BMW act later. I guess any group whose primary business is not racing and who comes to F1 racing for the fancy and commercial gains of it should have a very strict entry and exit clauses. Today they just pull the plug so easily. That should not be allowed. This is damaging the sport, morale of those brilliant engineers and last but not the least drivers and the fans.

  25. Now, we will again get to see blue/yellow cars with a big PETRONAS written all over it. What about Heidfield ? Sauber or Merc ?

  26. That is great news.

    Heidfeld and Klein to drive for Sauber next year?

    1. I hope it happens.

  27. I want Kobayashi to join Heidfield in Sauber. This ll give them a potent competition of having a solid driver who will bring the car home with some points and an attacking driver to go for podiums….

  28. @Prisoner Monkeys

    i am a fan of stefan gp,
    and one of these days i will find you and brake your flegs for telling lies on forums about sgp you ignorant MF.
    mark my words

    1. Run fast Prisoner Monkeys!!!….he’s gonna break your “flegs”!!!

      1. No !!!

        He’s gonna BRAKE his flegs
        Wonder where the discs will go ? One on each knee ?

        Sounds really good eh guys…… ?

  29. I just came from a holiday party where a well connected source (connections confirmed) said that Sauber will sign Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov. Remember that Sauber said earlier this week that Petrov would be a very attractive option for them. And then its natural to sign Nick for the continuity and experience.

  30. The Sri Lankan
    5th December 2009, 2:08

    i hope toyota get another shot and FIA drop this 14th slot nonesense. the more the merrier

  31. My spies tell me that it is indeed to be Nick Heidfeld and Vitaly Petrov (but they only have a 90% success rate)

  32. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    5th December 2009, 22:23

    Brilliant to see Sauber return hopefully they can win a race as just Sauber this time.

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