How BMW-Sauber blew its chance of title glory
Continuing Autosport's series celebrating 50 years of Sauber, we revisit the 2008 season in which it at last became a Formula 1 winner. But corporate demands from new owner BMW meant its best shot at the title was allowed to slip away
After 50 years in motorsport there are plenty of trophies in the display cabinets of Sauber's factory in Hinwil - but not one denoting the greatest prize of all, the Formula 1 world championship. It's a title the team permitted to slip through its corporate fingers over the course of a febrile few months in 2008. That was the view publically expressed by lead driver Robert Kubica at the time, and he's not altered that view over the following 12 years.
When BMW returned to F1 as an engine supplier in 2000 after 13 years in abeyance it did so with energy and purpose - and a plan, even if those goals had to be subtly revised over the course of the coming seasons. Led by ex-F1 driver Gerhard Berger and Dr Mario Theissen, an ambitious but engineering-led corporate climber who was passionate about motor racing, BMW knew exactly what it wanted out of F1: explicit technological links between everyday product and racing, to which end it was developing a V10 for its high-performance road cars.
After two terrifying crashes, one of the best British racers of the 1950s retired before his career peaked. But that’s why GP Racing’s MAURICE HAMILTON was able to speak to Tony Brooks in 2014. Like his friend Stirling Moss, Brooks was regarded as one of the best drivers never to have won the world championship. Here, as our tribute to Brooks who died last month, is that interview in full
AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow
Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career
Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further
Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?
In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...
OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around
Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix
Retrospective: How Bruce McLaren created a legendary F1 team
Autosport Podcast: Sauber's greatest ever racing cars