The Sauber Formula One team has been struggling with cash for a while, most notably at the beginning of last year, when they contracted more drivers than they had seats because if two drivers’ money is good, more drivers’ cash must be better. So, to avoid that, a Swiss investment firm called Longbow Finance SA just bought the team.
Longbow purchased Sauber Holding AG, which is the holding company of the Sauber Group, reports Autosport. Team founder and now-former owner Peter Sauber will step down as president of the team’s board of directors, with Longbow Holdings president and CEO Pascal Picci taking his place.
Peter Sauber purchased the team back from BMW when BMW left the sport (and thus, the Sauber team) six years ago.
So, it’s a team held in a company getting purchased by another company. Sounds very Swiss, indeed. The only way this deal could sound more Swiss would be if it were all held in a secretive private bank account and stowed offshore in a series of several other companies to avoid further taxation.
Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn told Autosport that the new corporate structure will allow them to take their know-how outside of F1 more often as well.
This season has been business as usual for the beleaguered F1 team. Cashflow issues caused staff paychecks to arrive late for four consecutive months. Sauber has been unable to upgrade their car all season due to a lack of cash, and missed both in-season tests in part because they had no new parts to test.
With the series looking at a total redesign for its cars in 2017 that doesn’t sound cheap, Peter Sauber can finally rest easy in the knowledge that it’s someone else’s problem now.
How’s that nonexistent effort to keep more teams in the sport going, Formula One?