26 years after the Sauber name first appeared on the Formula 1 grid in 1993, the Swiss outfit bids farewell following its takeover from Alfa Romeo.
It has been a period full of highs and lows, celebrations to near extinction, but despite it all Sauber has always been committed to making the most of what it had.
Founded by motorsport executive Peter Sauber, Sauber first rose to attention in sports cars as it formed a successful partnership with Mercedes-Benz in the late 80s and early 90s.
Before long, the appeal of competing in F1 was one that Sauber simply couldn’t resist. The C12 was the beginning of a long journey, a 26-year journey that the team would endure, enjoy and suffer all at the same time but always with a smile while doing it.
Wendlinger, Frenzten, Raikkonen, Massa, Kubica, Vettel, Perez, Leclerc, an array of fresh, young talented racers who would and have been built up into ready-made winners and champions, and go on to achieve success in the future.
Even through BMW’s brief acquisition, the Sauber name stayed and stood proudly on the top step of the podium in 2008 – years of blood, sweat and tears had paid off.
Although the winning feeling would never retrace its steps, Sauber pushed on through the demise of BMW and into a new decade, full of promise and difficult times.
But after 465 grand prix’s, one win, 27 podiums, one pole position and a highest finish of second in the constructors’ championship, another iconic brand waves goodbye to life in the fast lane.
One door closes, another one opens; Alfa Romeo will do well to replace the character and personality Sauber brought to F1 in its time in the sport.