Sauber survived “difficult times” to reach 500-race milestone – Raikkonen

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In the round-up: Sauber, which runs the Alfa Romeo team, marked their 500th grand prix at the last race.

This includes 373 races which they started as Sauber, 89 as BMW Sauber and 35 as Alfa Romeo. For those pointing out that only adds up to 497, note their cars did not start three other races: Monaco 1994 (withdrew after Karl Wendlinger was seriously injured in a crash in practice), Brazil 2000 (withdrew due to wing failures) and USA 2005 (withdrew due to tyre failures).

Arguably now the fifth longest-running team behind Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Lotus, Sauber’s longevity is partly due to their ability to overcome tough periods despite financial limitations, says Kimi Raikkonen.

What they say

Kimi Raikkonen, Sauber, 2001
Raikkonen joined F1 with Sauber 19 years ago
Raikkonen, who made his debut with Sauber in 2001, described how they have grown as a team since his first stint with them:

[The team] is quite a bit bigger than it was when I started in F1 with them, the factory has grown up in size and also the wind tunnel after I left.

Obviously money is always an issue with the smaller teams, but that’s how it is. This is a great number [of races] for them they get to because I think there’s only three teams that have done more grands prix.

So for a private team they’ve been there for a long time there and survived the really difficult times. Hopefully we can make them go higher up.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Lewis Hamilton’s lack of a contract for the 2021 F1 season is being downplayed by both him and Mercedes, with plenty of speculation about what the delay is. John notes that both Daimler and Hamilton could be looking to align their values for the future:

In my opinion Hamilton is looking to expand his freedom to take on social issues, while Daimler Benz is looking to the future as the first and oldest vehicle manufacturer in the world. The motoring world is about to make fundamental changes to how vehicles are powered into the next century.

I think Hamilton will be given and supported in his drive for equality while continuing his ambition to be the most successful F1 driver of all time. While Daimler Benz will use his success to promote their new tech into the 22nd century.
John H

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....
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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13 comments on “Sauber survived “difficult times” to reach 500-race milestone – Raikkonen”

  1. While Daimler Benz will use his success to promote their new tech into the 22nd century.

    We are still 80 years away from that. How do these dumb comments keep getting COTD!?

    1. You might want to re-think your understanding of the COTD and then your comment, but yes it is 80 years into the future.

    2. Just like how Caracciola’s and Nuvolari’s success from 80 years ago promoted Merc and Audi’s tech in the 21st century?

      1. LOL exactly. At this point it is more likely that Tesla will exist in 80 years than that Mercedes will.

    3. Been visiting this very website every day since 2009, rapidly understood « cotd » is like a troll, making you comment over a comment over an article.

      1. @jeff1s haha too true.. looks like you were sucked in by it again… oh no looks like I was too!

    4. How dumb of me to comment on a comment from somebody who comments on a dumb comment.

  2. I have seen some news that Binotto is not going to Bahrain

    1. @qeki At least not for the first weekend.

      1. @jerejj If they somehow get a podium in Bahrain I start to believe that they should leave him in Italy for every race :)

  3. I admire Alfa tremendously, but we part company on the touchy topic of pitstops.
    No other team does slower pitstops. A driver will box then watch the clock tick away: 3secs, 4secs, 6secs. Invariably this brings them back out behind Haas and Williams, when a decent service would put them on the tail of the Tauris.
    But at least their lunches include cheese and potato rosti. Or is that the trouble…..

  4. How considerate of the Bahrain Int. Circuit to share that video.
    This allows many families of migrant workers to have a glimpse of their loved ones this festive season.

    1. They get to work? Jealous me.

Comments are closed.