Sauber’s future secured after sale to Swiss company

2016 F1 season

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The future of Sauber has been safeguarded following the takeover of the team by the Swiss company Longbow Finance.

Peter Sauber, who set his team up in the seventies and will now retire from all positions he previously held, said the deal signed by he and CEO Monisha Kaltenborn secures the future of the Formula One Team and the Sauber Group”.

“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 Formula 1 has proved to be correct,” he added.

Kaltenborn described Longbow as “the perfect partner to again make the team competitive and successful in Formula One”.

“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. We are very grateful that Longbow Finance S.A.believes in the competences, efficiency and capabilities of Sauber Group, and we look forward to a new exciting future.”

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Keith Collantine
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45 comments on “Sauber’s future secured after sale to Swiss company”

  1. ColdFly F1 (@)
    20th July 2016, 15:15

    Not sure yet if this is good news or a desperate last attempt to survive.

    Longbow Finance seems to be an investment vehicle for individuals and companies. But I cannot find how big they are, and certainly nothing about their financial ability to fund a struggling F1 team, let allow help a struggling CEO to run a struggling F1 team.
    At first sight it seems like (a weak version of) Genii Capital; and we all know what happened when they took over a (somewhat) successful F1 team.

    The only interesting bit I could find is that Longbow’s President is also on the Board of AMAG.
    AMAG is the importer of VW/Audi/SEAT/Porsche in Switzerland.
    Maybe, just maybe, its a first step of those brands to get a foothold in F1. One can only hope.

    1. But Genii did invest at first, and Lotus had good cars in 2011,2012, 2013.

      1. You could also include the 2010 season as well – whilst the cars were branded as Renault cars, Renault had already sold off a controlling share of the team (Renault’s stake was only 25%) to Genii back in 2009.

        As you say, the results for several years still compared fairly favourably with what the team had achieved as a full factory team a few years earlier, and even their 2015 season wasn’t completely terrible (it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t an unmitigated disaster either) – it was really just the 2014 season that was completely terrible.

    2. Just checked the location of Longbow Finance here in CH and they are in Lutry, right up the lake toward Montreux, a 40km drive from where I am in Nyon. Will be interesting to learn more about them. Hope they will do the right thing with Sauber.

    3. Stop it. Longbow is Tetra Pak in case you didn’t know.

  2. thatscienceguy
    20th July 2016, 15:28

    I guess they’re drawing…

    *puts on sunglasses*

    ..a Long bow


    1. Bwahahaha!!!

  3. petebaldwin (@)
    20th July 2016, 15:46

    It’s hard to give a clear opinion without knowing who is involved but in general, this sounds like good news for Sauber. They’ll certainly be in a better position than they currently are.

    1. Admitedly, it’s probably hard to be worse while still functionning.

  4. Its strange. Its risky. But we will never know. Just a few “what ifs??”

    * Apple buys F1? Apple, contrary to Ecclestone, will want non english based teams. Apple will want teams with history. Not only want, need!!! So I believe it can be a long term bet. Lose millions today, Gain more tomorrow.

    * Ferrari buys Sauber to turn it into Alfa Romeo? Financial Engineering. Makes perfect sense.

    * Bernie starts handling money like the Premier League? Makes perfect sense to buy a F1 team.

    Do not get me wrong. Peter Sauber made his retirement when selling to BMW. 2010 comeback was a desperate move by Bernie to keep one more team. Caterham, Lotus, Marussia, HRT…all gone. Sauber made it. But this is Sauber B, not the Red Bull Sauber Petronas. Now its time to cash that favor.
    Whenever this new Sauber B got some money, they presented a good car. Remember 2012, second half of 2013 and first half of 2015. Not a championship contender, but a good midfield car, able to punch above its weight.
    Couple of millions into 2016 car, you can easily steal Manors prize money.

    Again…we will never know whats behind this agreement. But at least Sauber is paying salaries. Worst case scenario, Sauber life has been extended. Best case scenario….come back has started!!!!

    Success for you Hinwill!!!!!
    All the best.

  5. CEO Pascal Picci has business ties to Tetra Pak and H&M, as well as to former Swedish racer and Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack. That could mean something.

    Perhaps this ensures Marcus Ericsson will remain at Sauber in 2017. I hope they lose Nasr though. He has been whining but not producing results this season. I’d rather see someone like Oliver Rowland, Jean-Eric Vergne or Robin Frijns in that second Sauber.

    1. Yup, looks like it’s Swedish money hiding in Switzerland. Now it just depends how much of that they’re willing to spend on the team.

      And for those who do not know Tetra Pak, it’s like the Ikea of packaging world, i.e. big enough to buy F1 itself.

    2. Yeah, Ericsson is producing great results.

  6. As with most takeovers there will be staff cuts and restructuring. Keep that champagne on ice.

  7. I think it is the end for Sauber, look at Lotus after the Genii takeover, they have been lucky Renault was there.

    1. Change of name for next season?

      1. @nickwyatt I hope the new owners kicks Monisha and then, maybe then the team will survive, but please monisha, go back to the kitchen and take care of your kids now, they need you more than F1, your pocket are full enough now.

        1. > …please monisha, go back to the kitchen and take care of your kids now…

          Misogynistic much?

        2. I knew there was a quite a lot of well camouflaged sexism in F1….
          but if your remarks aren’t tongue in cheek @abdelilah, then they can
          be seen as extremely offensive in the context of 2016 perceptions.
          F1 has long been riddled with sexist attitudes, but some of it’s really good
          people are doing their best to eliminate such crass behaviour.
          Nevertheless, it’s quite clear it’s going to take some time to persuade
          intelligent well educated women ( such as my wife ! ) to take an interest
          in a sport which can still exhibit such ludicrously stupid perceptions.

          1. @loen I’ll be honest with you, I am not lying on this one, women are as important as men but if and only if both of them are doing their jobs correctly, like men they are more suitable in some fields more than in others, look, my wife is a graduated woman but we both have chosen that she stays home, take care of her “home” while I take care of my “outside home” matters, she is doing an excellent job of it and everybody is winning in this equation, she handles all the budget while she does not contribute directly to it, but with her love and support she brings more than what money can bring, plus she is not exhausted when I get home and with her knowledge she can help the kids more than I can.
            The problem today is with the media propaganda which seems to say “hey women, to be successful you have to compete with men any area they put their noses in, period” and this is the main issue today, don’t foul yourself Loen by thinking that a women can be as good as men is some jobs, nor men can be as good as women in some jobs, the western society seems to evaluate people with what they can financially bring which a biased way of considering things in my opinion.
            Despite the fact that my wife has a say, I might be labelled old school but I am in command of my family, can you imagine a country with two prime ministers? I let you imagine.
            What did Monisha bring to Sauber?

          2. Now this discussion is going somewhere else completely @abdelilah, @loen.

            First of all, I want to make clear that I do not think there is all that much more that a team principal in Sauber’s position could have done (Compare Manor having had to go through insolvency and the messy ending of Caterham). And Kaltenborn being a woman certainly has even less to do with that.

            Now on to the views on the other part of that statement. I can see your views Understeer, and if both of you are happy living with the divide you made at home, fine. But let me offer my view on the same situation. Both me and my wife work in our own fields. Both of us earn money. My wife felt a bit stressed when she supported the family while I started my business, now we both contribute again. But both of us have the freedom of knowing that we are together because we want to. Not because either of us is depenent on the other for their income.

            As for who can do what jobs, given how much the typical (or even called traditional!) split changed over the ages, I seriously doubt there is any solid base to the feeling that any gender would by better, or worse, in any profession by birth.

        3. @abdelilah
          Sounds like we need a ‘WotD’ (Worst of the Day) section. Spoiler: Your post wins.

    2. “Dear @abdelilah,
      I owe a brain. Come pick it up when needed.


      1. “Dear @x303,
        I don’t need a woman’s brain, thank you.


        1. @abdelilah
          We disagree but at least we had some fun ahah!

          1. @x303 yeah, at least we agree on this one, so much fun ;)

  8. Peter Sauber, who set his team up in the seventies and will now retire from all positions he previously held

    Does that means Peter Sauber is not involved on anything in the team anymore? Sauber might still getting worse because so far Monisha doesn’t showed she can handle running the racing/sport part of the team, and the business part not going well either in her hands. At least Peter Sauber knew how to run the racing part. Maybe this is his wish too, to get out cleanly from the team before it ultimate demise.

    1. Let’s just look at the business part of other teams in the midfield to decide how good or bad Kaltenborn has been doing @sonicslv.

      We have FI – sponsored by the liqor companies of the owner and money brought by a driver. We have STR who have hardly any sponsorship at all besides their owner Red Bull. Then we have Renault, which has only relatively little sponsorship apart from the car company (that might change with more success, but not with their 2016 results). Lets look at Manor, they seem to have what comes with the drivers and AirBnB, but no one knows how much money that brings (doubt it it a huge amount). We can even look at McLaren and see they have themselves, a few long term partners and their engine supplier, and one “big” deal with Chandon. Not that much more, is it?

      Compare Sauber who have what comes with the drivers. Pretty much the same as the red of the smaller teams IMO. In other words, the issue is not that Kaltenborn (or Sauber) are doing a bad job, but that it is hard to get sponsors on board for an F1 team nowadays.

      And if you get a sponsor interested, you have to be wary of FOM scooping them up and offering a wider deal instead.

      I seriously doubt Sauber is wishing to get out because this will sink the team. He invested money to buy it back after the BMW excit to prevent that.

  9. So to summarize the amazing value Monisha’s excellent leadership brought to the team.

    1. She gets half of the team’s shares as a gift because Peter Sauber was desperate to find someone to run the team.
    2. She proceeds to run the team into the ground.
    3. She sells and cashes in on her investment, while leaving the team in the worst state it has ever been.

    She’s ready to become a Wall Street bankster.

    1. She scored a lots of points in the “I screw sponsors championship” and won by a mile the “I screw drivers championship”.
      She sure earned her super license to Formula Wall Street Bankster

  10. I’m always wary of takeovers by any consortium that is not already an established business in the field. Usually results in asset stripping because the current owners overlooked the value inherent in part of the business and sold it too cheaply.

    About the only good point is that Peter Sauber can actually get a clean break from the business that bears his name before the many sporting successes are sullied by the failures under the leadership of others.

  11. Well, that is just that. Someone bought Sauber F1.

    In package are awesome wind tunnel, best swiss motosport brand, etc.

    If they wanna do something with it, they can. Sauber was desperatley underfunded for years, but other than that, they have stuff going for them.

  12. Sauber’s future secured: Peter Sauber, that is. We wait with interest to see if this secures the future of the team, or if its new owner just wants to pick apart the pieces and sell them off to the highest bidder. Who knows, at this point?

  13. I’m not massively hopeful that this is the answer to turning Sauber into a competitive team again, but it sure has a better chance than the previous set up.

  14. I should have expected this to be one of the options for Sauber. I too can’t find much information on Longbow finance, so I’m not sure if this is a good option for the team. I don’t think Monisha had many options, and that it was this or bankruptcy. I hope we see the team on the grid next year.

  15. It is Marcus Ericssons sponsor Tetra Laval that is taking over the team.

    This Should be good news, a lot better than not paying bills and not updating the car.

  16. It’s a shame that Monisha will continue there.

  17. While it’s great that the future of the team, at least in the short term, looks fairly secure, I concur with everyone above that’s not fully convinced that this is a good step for them.

    I’d rather see the team being bought by a company that knows this business and it’s ready to improve from a very good basis, despite the current situation. Genii was probably the only finantial group that sort of worked, but that imploded after 3 years, and the situation was very, very bad at the end of their tenure as F1 team owners.

    I’m worried it could happen again with such an historic team in this sport. I suspect they didn’t have many options… and that’s a bit sad, not just for Sauber but for the state of F1.

    I’m also disappointed Monisha is set to continue working with the team. She was put in a prime position after Peter Sauber got the team running again after the BMW days and she managed to run it to destruction. From giant killing performances in 2011-2012, to the miserable sight of Van der Garde on Sauber overalls at Melbourne and the first point-less year in Sauber’s history (which could well be repeated this year). She needs to go.

    1. She was put in a prime position after Peter Sauber got the team running again after the BMW days and she managed to run it to destruction. From giant killing performances in 2011-2012, to the miserable sight of Van der Garde on Sauber overalls at Melbourne and the first point-less year in Sauber’s history (which could well be repeated this year). She needs to go.

      I strongly disagree with that notion @fer-no65. You shoudn’t confuse cause and effect there.

      Kaltenborn was there when the team had its high, probably working on the last money Peter Sauber was able to inject. But their demise was also tied to Ferrari building bad engines. And off course the new deals and rising engine cost meant a bigger gap between earnings and cost. Also, the impact of the global economical crisis started to hit F1 from 2010 onwards as far as sponsors were concerned, because deals ran out. And hardly anyone got good new deals (Only FOM did get a few), you only have to look at what sponsors are on the cars (for alll but the top teams) – almost all of them are either partners (like Pirelli, Siemens, Honda, …) or tied to the drivers.

      What got Sauber was that they had planned to run Bianchi and Ferrari would have paid for the engines. But off course that did not happen and then Sirotkin failed to bring money, the Money from DiSilvestro’s backers turned out not te exsist etc, making the team desperate to find cash to keep going.

      1. Very true @bascb.
        To this day, I still don’t understand the whole VdG saga as it looks like a blatant scam. Hope someone write a book in few years time to explain all this mess…

  18. Great news for Sauber, I’m so happy for them. It would have extremely heartbreaking to see them go under.

    Now, Monisha needs to go.

    The team got to the brink under her stewardship. Regardless of external circumstances, the puck stops at the Boss’ office, which she occupies. The team hasnt been performing well either. Time to go.

  19. I am yet to understand all the anti Monisha, movement. She has done a lot to ensure many still have jobs after BMW abandoned the team. I don’t think anyone could have done a better job.

  20. Well, good for Sauber…but I was kind of hoping for a Ferrari buy out and a re-brand to Alfa Romeo.

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