Sauber to run “heritage” identity for two years until Audi’s “big bang” arrival

RaceFans Round-up

Posted on

| Written by

In the round-up: The Sauber team will not run Audi branding until they officially become their works team in 2026.

In brief

Sauber will not run Audi branding until 2026

With the Alfa Romeo team reverting to their original identity of Sauber for 2024, team representative Alessandro Alunni Bravi says that the team will not run Audi branding on their cars next season.

“With Audi, we enter in 2026,” Alunni Bravi explained.

“Commercially speaking, it’s important to have a big bang in 2026 – not to dilute the Audi involvement with the team. So we will continue as Sauber based on the heritage of the group. Don’t forget that we are here since ’93 – so we will start from this heritage, so we are back to the future next year.”

More US viewers for Monaco than Las Vegas – ESPN

More television viewers tuned into the Monaco Grand Prix in May on broadcaster ESPN than watched the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

ESPN says an average of 1.3 million viewers watched the Las Vegas Grand Prix during its late Saturday time slot, while 1.79 million viewers tuned into the Monaco Grand Prix in May, which was shown live for the first time in the USA.

The best performing race was the Miami Grand Prix which averaged 1.96 million viewers – fewer than the 2.6 million who viewed the inagural race in Miami in 2022, the biggest live audience for a grand prix ever on American television.

Bott-ass calendar raises $150k for charity

A novelty calendar featuring nude photographs of Sauber driver Valtteri calendar has sold out, raising over $150,000 for prostate cancer research.

The ‘Bott-ass’ calendar, created in support of Movember, sold out yesterday, with Bottas saying that he was “more than overwhelmed” by how popular the product had been.

“Thank you so much for all the support in November. With all the donations and with the calendars, we have together raised a substantial amount for ‘Movember’ – meaning we have really helped and will affect and save many people’s lives,” Bottas said.

Maloney quickest on second F2 test day

Red Bull junior driver Zane Maloney posted the quickest time of the test so far in the second day of running at the Yas Marina circuit.

After ART’s Victor Martins went fastest in the opening day, Carlin driver Maloney posted a 1’35.783 in the earlier of the two sessions of Thursday, over a second quicker than Martin’s best from Wednesday and just over a tenth quicker than Martins in the same session. Gabriel Bortoleto was fastest for Viruosi in the evening session, half a second quicker than Oliver Bearman.

A third and final day of running will take place today – the last ever day of use for the F2 2018 chassis.

Massa enters Daytona 24 Hours

Former Formula 1 driver Felipe Massa will contest the Daytona 24 Hours for Riley Motorsport. His team mates will be Josh Burdon, Gar Robinson and Felipe Fraga.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Social media

Notable posts from X (formerly Twitter), TikTok and more:

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Comment of the day

With George Russell expressing concern that reverse grids in sprint races would result in more DRS trains, SadF1Fan believes it’s inevitable that drivers at the top of their games will

Trains and processions are inherent to professional racing, as chess match-like football is inherent to professional football.

The more professional athletes become, the fewer mistakes they make, the less spectacular the sport becomes.

The sport could become more difficult so that athletes will be forced into making more mistakes. It will also means that the most talented athletes will dominate even more, and that athletes inherently will choose strategies that are more risk averse, which again would be less spectacular.

Or you could make the sport easier so that less skill is required and that risky strategies and luck are more rewarded than they are now.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to James Kehoe, Blythe Schembri and Dan!

On this day in motorsport

  • 30 years ago today Kelvin Burt tested for Williams at Paul Ricard as part of his prize for winning the British F3 title. Former racers Jochen Mass, John Watson and Allard Kalff, designer Patrick Head and Renault’s Bernard Dudot also got to drive.

Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

36 comments on “Sauber to run “heritage” identity for two years until Audi’s “big bang” arrival”

  1. we are here since ’93 – so we will start from this heritage

    Not another black car!

    1. The Sauber C12 is one of the most beautiful F1 cars of all time to be fair…

      1. But not because of its colour.
        The shape of the early 90’s F1 cars was what made them beautiful.

      2. +1 great car, remember seeing the first pictures in Autosport magazine.

  2. Considering the race started at 1am for east coast Americans, and the title race was over weeks ago, I’d say 1.3 million viewers for Las Vegas is actually pretty good.

    1. Saturday night is said to be a dead slot on american TV.

      1. Every night is a dead spot on American TV. Trust me, I’m American. 1;00 am is even worse…..

      2. Saturday night College Football crushes these ratings on multiple networks.

        Some people are out and most are in bed by 1am. Never mind by the finish. East Time Zoners like me stood no chance, especially after watching 12+ hours of CFB leading into it.

        I recorded it and watched it the next morning…before NFL started.

    2. FP1 was canceled, FP2 happened, but unless you had a Ouija board, you couldn’t find it (I have DVR functionality through Youtube TV, and I didn’t get to see FP2).

      Personally, by the time Qualifying rolled around, I had lost enough interest that the ONLY reason I watched is that it was recorded. If Domenicali and Liberty think the American market was going to stay up until 1am to watch the race, they are delusional.

      1. If Domenicali and Liberty think the American market was going to stay up until 1am to watch the race, they are delusional.

        Speaking from the European landmass perspective it was a rather early breakfast event, from what people are saying here the view is that it was silly-late in the night.
        Who exactly were they trying to please? The only large audience where the race time was early afternoon for live viewing was India.

      2. Coventry Climax
        1st December 2023, 13:33

        It depends on who you consider to be ‘fans’.
        I’m in europe and have never had any issues with getting up at 3 am or such to watch the Japan GP for example.
        I skipped the Vegas GP though (the first one ever, voluntarily, in over 50 years) because of the farce it is as a circuit and the all the broohaha around it, not because of the time of day it’s aired.

        If it’s just the numbers they’re interested in, then stick to that, and by that standard, it was less successful.
        I’m sure F1’s standards are conveniently ‘flexible’ though. Double flexible, probably, these days.

  3. When these stories started coming up about “no Audi branding until 2026” late in the season my first thought was “well obviously, that’s what they said when they announced the Audi entry for 2026!”.

    I’m surprised this is still a story which is rumbling on…they were 100% clear: The team name will be Alfa Romeo in 2023, Sauber in 2024, Sauber in 2025 and Audi from 2026 onwards. Why are people looking for a story where there isn’t one. Just ask yourself: Why would Audi want to put its name on a car with a Ferrari engine and gearbox?

    1. Jonathan Parkin
      1st December 2023, 5:48

      True but thus constant name changing is giving me Whiplash a bit. Kind of like when Jordan went to Midland/Spyker and finally Force India

    2. Why are people looking for a story where there isn’t one.

      Modern “journalism”…
      Besides, fantasy is more interesting than reality.

    3. Due to the speed with which BMW pulled out in 2009, the team raced as “BMW Sauber-Ferrari” in 2010.

      Now, THAT was confusing. :)

      1. Is it any more confusing than Aston Martin-Mercedes or Alfa Romeo-Ferrari, though? (Albeit the latter two are at least subsidiaries of the same parent group).

        1. Aston Martin have used Mercedes engines in their road cars for man years, so the F1 relationship is perfectly sensible


    4. notagrumpyfan
      1st December 2023, 8:00

      Why are people looking for a story where there isn’t one.

      That’s how you fill a daily round-up.

    5. Why would Audi want to put its name on a car with a Ferrari engine and gearbox?

      Well this is the team which once appeared as ‘BMW Sauber Ferrari’, but I take your point!

    6. @geemac it is not necessarily an unreasonable question to ask, because we have seen several examples in quite recent years of teams being branded with one automotive manufacturer’s name and using engines from an entirely different company.

      Even if we leave out the unintentional “BMW Sauber Ferrari” entry, Red Bull competed for several years with Renault engines and Infiniti as the title sponsor for their team, whilst further down the grid you had Marussia competing with Ferrari engines (Marussia being an independent automotive manufacturer).

      You could also look to how the team from Enstone was branded after Renault temporarily withdrew – they had Renault (2012-2014) and Mercedes (2015) power units and transmissions, but the team competed under the name of Lotus and the second largest sponsor was Proton (i.e. two automotive manufacturers with no real link to the power unit manufacturers).

      Of course, we have the rather obvious example of Sauber having the Alfa Romeo name applied to it’s team, despite running Ferrari power units – that occurring despite Ferrari being spun out of Stellantis 7 years ago now and thus being legally independent from Alfa Romeo.

      We also know that Andretti’s proposal to enter into F1 involves having his team having Cadillac as their main sponsor. However, we also know that the earliest General Motors intends to produce an engine is 2028, whilst Michael has said he wants to start racing much earlier than that (potentially as soon as 2025).

      If he does enter before 2028, we will therefore see a major manufacturer (General Motors) quite happily putting it’s branding onto a car with someone else’s engine in it – most probably Renault, given they previously made a preliminary offer to the team (even if that has now lapsed). Is the idea of Audi putting their name on a car with a Ferrari powertrain and transmission any more unusual than General Motors putting the Cadillac name onto a car with a Renault powertrain and transmission?

  4. Yes (@come-on-kubica)
    1st December 2023, 6:10

    Liberty are hosting 3 us races for an audience of 2 million people… hilarious.

    1. notagrumpyfan
      1st December 2023, 7:58

      You never wondered how many local people watch the Middle East races (and came to the conclusion that it’s a global sport).

      1. As someone who lives in the Middle East I can assure you that the overwhelming majority of the crowd at the races in the region live here.

        1. notagrumpyfan
          1st December 2023, 9:30

          OP was referring to the 2M TV audience in the USA and comparing it to three races in the country.
          In the Middle East there are more races, and (I guess) a smaller TV audience.

  5. I see what Alunni Bravi did with the ‘Back to the future’ reference.

    Was the Monaco GP really shown live for the very first time in the USA only this year, even though F1 has been broadcasted in the states for a long time, unless I misinterpreted something?

    Good COTD about the matter generally in sports.

    1. Monaco has been broadcast live in the USA for as long as I’ve been watching (2008).

      Frequently, you’ll have Monaco on in the mid-morning, and then you can switch over to the Indy 500 that afternoon.

      Not sure what the writer was on about here. I suppose they might have meant “On NBC”, but when NBC had the rights to F1, they were broadcasting live too.

      1. notagrumpyfan
        1st December 2023, 8:17

        It’s a compound-complex sentence and you could also read the last clause (after the final ‘which’) as referring to the LVGP.
        It would be technically correct and makes sense considering that the original two LVGPs were (probably) not broadcasted live.

        I would prefer though that the round-up always includes links to the sources so we could look it up what was really meant.

        1. It’s a compound-complex sentence and you could also read the last clause (after the final ‘which’) as referring to the LVGP.

          I still recall that my English teacher said that if your phraseology is complex to the extent that the meaning is no longer clear, then you need to rephrase. Punctuation can help, but sometimes rephrasing is a better idea.

  6. Coventry Climax
    1st December 2023, 13:36

    That orange nose will never happen, unless mandated by some silly FiA rule. It shows detail wáááy too clearly.

    1. Wonder how that front wing would get on.

      1. Coventry Climax
        2nd December 2023, 13:13

        Not too well, I’d say, as it’s most likely FiA’s ground effect prototype show car painted ‘Audi colors’.

  7. Go Kubica! Apart from the williams 2019 f1 season, he has still been in top form everywhere else in motorsport. 2 lemans 24 hours podiums, and 1 lemans 24hours where his car gave up on the last lap in the lead. ELMS champion, LMP2 champion, WRC 2 champion. I hope he can win the lemans 24 hours in the Ferrari hypercar. He is also going to combine the WEC season with another ELMS season.

    1. I’d love to see him drive both the ELMS car and AF Corse Ferrari in the same race at Le Mans…

      1. how? being a smart alec?? a lot of top WEC LMP2 teams are moving to ELMS as LMP2 is no longer in WEC from next year. Kubica has anounced he will race the ELMS season for a top English based LMP2 team, which will soon be announced. He said the WEC calander alone is not enough racing for an active driver, which is correct.

    2. Before the crash I always thought Robert Kubica was worth at least a WDC. A partnership with Fernando at Fezza would have been awesome. Better yet, if RK might have landed the W05 and succesives and bring home a boatload of WDCs

      1. At the end of the day, Kubica is finally driving a ferrari. Last week he let know that after Massa’s crash in 2009, Ferrari wanted to have Kubica fill in, but BWM refused to let him move to Ferrari. So Kubica had 2 possible drives in Ferrari in F1, in 2009 and a contract for 2012. He finally has a Ferrari drive in WEC hypercar top tier at least.

Comments are closed.