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F1 Hungarian GP: Peter Sauber: 2010 takeover vindicated by buyout

Peter Sauber feels his decision to buy back the team after BMW withdrew its collaboration has been vindicated after continued success in F1.
Peter Sauber feels his decision six years ago to buy back the team after BMW withdrew its collaboration has been vindicated after seeing the team progress in F1.

After speculation surrounding Sauber's future in F1 intensified having reportedly hit financial troubles, it has been confirmed the team was acquired by Swiss finance company Longbow Finance S.A ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The deal sees Peter Sauber step down as group president and will retire to be replaced by the Longbow Finance's Pascal Picci.

Sauber, who regained control of the F1 team from BMW at the end of 2009, says his effort to keep the Swiss squad on the grid has proven to be the right one with Sauber remaining a competitive mid-pack team until its recent financial problems.

“Monisha Kaltenborn and I yesterday signed an agreement which secures the future of the Formula 1 Team and the Sauber Group,” Sauber said. “I am very happy that my courageous investment to buy the team back, which I made six years ago, with the intention to secure the base in Hinwil and the place in Formula 1 has proved to be correct.”

Sauber founded the group in the 1970s building sports cars working in collaboration with Mercedes before moving into F1 in 1993, where the Swiss squad made an immediate impression scoring points on debut in South Africa.

After partnerships with Red Bull, Ford and Petronas, BMW claimed a controlling stake in the team in 2006 and rebranded the squad BMW Sauber, while the founder retained a 20% stake.

A flurry of success followed, finishing runner-up in the F1 world constructors' champion in 2007, but the team was sold back to its founder at the end of the 2009 season once the team granted entry into the 2010 season with Toyota withdrawing.

Despite encouraging performances at the start of the decade Sauber's recent dip has been largely blamed on its financial constraints and the new deal is seen as a relief on recent tensions after a fruitless opening half to the 2016 campaign and reports of unpaid salaries for its staff.

READ: Sauber pushes on with new rear wing tests in Hungary

Sauber currently sits bottom of the F1 world constructors' championship and is the only team yet to take a points finish in 2016.

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