Formula 1 – Beat Zehnder: BMW-Sauber would be “undisputed world champion”.

Beat Zehnder is a real Sauber veteran. The present sporting director of the Formula 1 racing group from Hineville has been there for the reason that first season within the first-class in 1993 and has gained a whole lot of expertise throughout his virtually 30 years in Formula 1.

It skilled probably the most profitable interval in BMW years from 2006 to 2009. In 2007, BMW-Sauber was the vice-champion, and a 12 months later Robert Kubica received the one victory within the historical past of the racing group and fought for the world championship. for a very long time.

Zehnder instructed the Beyond the Grid podcast that BMW would have received the world title – had the Munich group not abruptly ended its dedication after the 2009 season. “I believe it was a transparent aim,” Zechder stated.

“Especially in 2008” issues have been “moving into the proper path”, he remembers, explaining that because of BMW’s “monetary funding” on the time, Sauber grew to become “one of many high groups” in Formula 1.


The BMW pulled out with out warning

“Unfortunately, we made a conceptual mistake with KERS in 2009. I believe we have been the one group with air cooling,” stated Zechder, who explains that the power restoration system “overheated” completely.

The outcome: They fell to sixth place within the world championship and the financial disaster on the time, mixed with poor outcomes, ensured that BMW pulled the plug and introduced in the summertime that it would withdraw from Formula 1 on the finish of the 12 months.

Zehnder stated there was “no warning” to the group on the time. “Not as soon as [BMW-Motorsportdirektor] Mario Theissen was knowledgeable,” he remembers, including that BMW solely knowledgeable Theissen “the day earlier than” of the choice.

From a purely sporting perspective, Zechder nonetheless believes that leaving Formula 1 was the mistaken determination. “If BMW had stayed on board, I’m certain we would have been world champions eventually,” he explains.

Savings after shopping for a Sauber

But within the years after 2009, as an alternative of preventing for the title of world champion, the entire group virtually disappeared. “It was very tight,” Zehnder remembers. It was group founder Peter Sauber who finally purchased the racing group.

“It wasn’t low cost,” Zehnder remembers: “BMW spent some huge cash on amenities. During this time, we virtually doubled the variety of jobs.” As a outcome, after the acquisition, Sauber first needed to minimize prices.

“It was some of the tough instances for each Peter and me, as a result of we needed to lay off about 250 individuals. We needed to cut back the scale of the corporate virtually in half. It was tough,” admits Zehder. Because behind each worker there was a household.

However, with out the assist of BMW, it would not have been doable to proceed operating the group at this stage – particularly since there have been virtually no sponsors for the 2010 season. “It was only a regular automotive with out it [Werbe-]labels,” he remembers.

Although BMW has not returned to Formula 1 to today, the group survived. First as Sauber, from 2019 the racing group began as Alfa Romeo. Always Have: Hit the Zehnder.

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