F1 »

Sauber, Piquet to join forces?

Despite the dust only just beginning to settle on both BMW's shock exit announcement and Nelson Piquet Jr's outburst about his treatment at the hands of Flavio Briatore and Renault, the rumour mill is already suggesting that the two stories could already be linking up to provide the Brazilian with an extension to his F1 career.

Reports in two of Brazil's foremost newspapers claim that Piquet's three-time world champion father is poised to form a partnership with Peter Sauber to rescue the remains of the BMW team that the Swiss team owner retains a 20 per cent share in, thereby providing a tailor-made opportunity for Nelsinho to remain in the top flight longer than anyone reading his lengthy diatribe would have believed possible.

According to both O Estado Sao Paulo and O Globo, Piquet Sr is investigating the possibility of extending the family team which carried his son, successfully, through the junior ranks into F1, linking up with veteran team boss Sauber, who has expressed a desire to preserve the remains of the team which once bore his name, and maintain Switzerland's presence in grand prix racing after BMW's short-lived dalliance with a 'works' operation ends in Abu Dhabi in November. O Globo claims that Super Nova GP2 boss David Sears could also be involved in Piquet's bid.

Although still largely unconfirmed, the reports claim that the team - to be branded Sauber Piquet F1 - will revert to using Ferrari engines from 2010. The Sauber team is no stranger to relationships with Maranello, having used its V10s with Petronas badging for a decade before the enforced switch to BMW power following the German giant's acquisition of the Hinwil operation.

Despite having taken Piquet Jr as far as it could when the Brazilian graduated to F1 as GP2 Series runner-up to Lewis Hamilton in 2006, the family maintains a presence in the feeder series, currently running Spaniard Roldan Rodriguez and Brazilian Alberto Valerio and taking a surprise victory with the latter at Silverstone in June. As Piquet himself pointed out in his blast at Briatore and Renault, he was the first driver to claim a maximum score in the category, having been guided by the family team to F3 success in both his homeland and, after finishing third overall as a newcomer, in the highly-competitive British series in 2004.

While neither Piquet has made any public claim to being involved with Sauber or BMW, the team's former owner this week admitted that he would do all he could to preserve its legacy, if only to protect the jobs of those working at the hi-tech Hinwil base that he set up and preserve Switzerland's role in F1.

"The best solution would be a Ross Brawn-type solution at Honda," Sauber told a press conference in the wake of BMW confirming its impending exit.

"You need at least ten years to amass a team which can produce an F1 car to the level required and, if we let this team fall apart, the chances are that Switzerland will never again have such an opportunity.

“I will do everything humanly possible to save the jobs of my former co-workers, but I have to say that I cannot achieve miracles - and I will not return to the pit-wall as team principal.

“Instead, I have said that I will use all of my contacts to see if I can find a solution, although nothing is guaranteed. I am only an advisor [at BMW Sauber] and, in the long run, only BMW in Munich can decide [how the team will continue in future].

“While I must say that I have already solved bigger problems than this in my 17 years in F1, as time passes, a solution must be found as quickly as possible...”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nelson Piquet (BRA) Renault R28, Brazilian F1 Grand Prix, Interlagos, 30th October 2008-2nd, November, 2008
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34, Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR11 and Max Verstappen (NED) Red Bull Racing RB12
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Race, Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16
27.11.2016 - Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 and Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05
27.11.2016 - Race, Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-31
27.11.2016 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Manor Racing MRT05, Pascal Wehrlein (GER) Manor Racing MRT05 and Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
27.11.2016 - Kevin Magnussen (DEN) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team RS16
27.11.2016 - Jerome Stoll (FRA) Renault Sport F1 President

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Piercarlogassolini - Unregistered

August 04, 2009 10:03 AM

I put my support strongly behind anything Peter Sauber and Nelson Piquet can do to keep Sauber alive. And if Piquet junior in one of the cars is part of the deal, fine. Altogether better than having the faceless, fickle, disloyal BMW on the grid in my opinion and this is no reflection on my opinion of BMW road cars. We are entering the (second) era of the independants, people who have a passion for the sport, and long live that era.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.