Martin Brundle questions purpose of existence for F1 team left ‘spinning their wheels’

Henry Valantine
Sky F1 broadcaster Martin Brundle walks through the paddock at the Singapore Grand Prix.

Sky F1 broadcaster Martin Brundle walks through the paddock.

Martin Brundle has voiced his concerns over Sauber “spinning their wheels” in similar positions in the Constructors’ Championship, with a potential “onslaught” to come once Audi’s majority takeover is complete.

The Hinwil-based team dropped from sixth in 2022 to ninth in 2023, with Alfa Romeo splitting from the team and a new naming rights deal subsequently confirmed, to make the team Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber from 2024.

Audi will be completing their majority takeover in 2026 however, with a factory power unit to boot, but the near-constant midfield nature of the team since its arrival in Formula 1 has made Brundle question their goals.

Martin Brundle questions Sauber goals ahead of Audi ‘onslaught’

There are still two seasons to come before the German brand takes on a majority stake in Sauber, with the team having taken one victory in its 30 years in Formula 1 – through Robert Kubica in Montreal in 2008, when they were partnered with BMW.

They have had 27 podiums to their name but have spent the majority of their time as a team in the midfield, but the story of Sauber’s 2023 was one of disappointment, with their car being largely outdeveloped by their rivals as the year progressed.

Because they are a “serious team”, former F1 driver Brundle believes “something needs to change” to bring more success back to Hinwil in future, having finished second-bottom in the Constructors’ standings in 2023.

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“They’ve shown some pace from time to time, not so much this season as last year, particularly with Valtteri Bottas,” Brundle explained on Sky Sports F1’s end-of-season review.

“I think it’s a solid setup. Let’s call it Sauber, I’ve always wondered kind of why they existed, what they were, 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’re launching the car in Great Britain in 2024, suggesting there’s an exciting new name coming into it.

“I wouldn’t underestimate them, but they just seem to spin their wheels around the same place in the World Championship, so something needs to change.

“That change could of course well be Audi, who are progressively taking the team over ready for a 2026 onslaught.”

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