Martin Brundle has cast doubt on Sauber's ongoing presence in Formula 1, questioning their trajectory after a lacklustre season as Alfa Romeo.
Battling challenges in the previous campaign, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu narrowly avoided finishing at the very bottom of the constructors' championship.
Brundle, reflecting on Sauber's performance on the Sky Sports F1 Review Show, mused about the team's goals. Despite expectations of a resurgence when Alfa Romeo re-entered in 2019, a sixth-place finish in 2022 with contributions from Zhou and Bottas was marred by frequent stints as backmarkers.
Rebranded as Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber for the upcoming 2024 season, Sauber parted ways with Alfa Romeo over the winter. Despite their eagerness to return to the grid, Brundle has expressed uncertainty about Sauber's objectives in F1.
Brundle: What are they aiming for?
In their 465 Grand Prix races under various names, Sauber secured a lone victory through Robert Kubica at the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.
Despite glimpses of promise, like Nick Heidfeld joining Kubica on the podium, the team failed to capitalise on their potential and secure a world championship, signalling a prolonged period of decline.
“They’ve shown some pace from time to time, not so much this season as last year," Brundle said.
“But particularly with Valtteri Bottas I think it’s a solid set-up, let’s call it Sauber, I’ve always wondered kind of why they existed, what they were aiming for, where’s the goal when with other teams it’s quite clear what they’re trying to do.
“But it’s a serious team based in Switzerland, they’ll launch the car in Great Britain in 2024. I wouldn’t underestimate them but they just seem to spin their wheels around the same place in the world championships.
“So, something needs to change, that change could of course well be Audi progressively taking the team over ready for a 2026 onslaught.”
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