Sauber has announced the launch of the Sauber Academy, a young driver programme aimed at guiding drivers from karting to F1.
Although not technically on the grid at the moment, the company still operates the team known as Alfa Romeo. Therefore, they are still heavily involved in F1 and are likely to officially return in the future.
When they do so, they may well be giving a seat to at least one of the first four members of their academy. Said members are Théo Pourchaire, Dexter Patterson, Petr Ptacek and Emerson Fittipaldi Junior.
Pourchaire is the current F4 Germany champion and will compete in F3 this year; Patterson is a graduate from the Sauber Karting Team and will join the Italy F4 grid; Ptacaek will remain in the Formula Renault Eurocup for the time being, and Fittipaldi, son of the double world champion, will continue his karting career.
“Investing in young talent has always been a central part of Sauber Motorsport’s racing philosophy,” Frederic Vasseur, the Sauber Motorsport CEO, told their official website.
“Our Academy is just the latest project aimed at unearthing stars of the future and guiding them through their career, giving them the tools, the education and the resources needed to succeed in the world of motorsport.”
At the moment, Alfa Romeo serves as a feeder team for Ferrari and therefore one of their seats will always be filled by one the Scuderia’s young drivers. Sauber forming their own academy suggests they’re aiming to take a more independent approach in the future.