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F1 Origins: How Sauber went from family cellar to Audi partnership

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Sauber are about to begin a new chapter in their long motorsport history, after a new partnership with Audi was announced on Wednesday. It's the latest move for a team that, amazingly, began life in a family home's cellar, before reaching the pinnacle of motorsport...

When 27-year-old electrician Peter Sauber took over his father's traffic light business, he had little interest in racing, but after tinkering with his own car, he decided to move into motorsport – a move he called "downright crazy". The 1970 Swiss Sportscar Championship-winning C1 was the result.

The outfit grew from cellar to workshop and in 1986, the Mercedes-powered Sauber C8 won the Nurburgring 1000kms. From there, Mercedes and Sauber made plans to return to F1 – but Sauber were soon left without an engine partner amid a change of mind from the Silver Arrows.

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Instead Peter Sauber went it alone, Red Bull soon jumping on board, engines coming from Ferrari and Ford. They convinced BMW to split from Williams in 2005, and that began the most successful period of the team with Robert Kubica taking their sole win in 2008.

Independent from 2010-2018, Sauber then partnered with Alfa Romeo – fielding the likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas – and from 2026 they'll become Audi's factory team.

Hit play on the video player above to learn more about the origins of one of F1's longest serving teams...

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