Sauber could still diversify into Formula E

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn hasn’t ruled out a future Formula E programme for the Swiss team, to run alongside its core business in Formula 1.

Sauber could still diversify into Formula E
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C35 leads team mate Felipe Nasr, Sauber C35
Alejandro Agag, CEO Formula E
A Formula E car with the New York City skyline
Felipe Nasr, Sauber C35
Daniel Abt, ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
2017 Jaguar I-type
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C35
Mercedes logo
Monisha Kaltenborn, Sauber Team Principal

Kaltenborn says that Sauber came close to joining the electric series when it was first launched in late 2014, but did not proceed as the company was busy at the time fighting for survival in F1.

"It's something that we looked at right in the beginning, before it came in," said Kaltenborn. "And actually right until the end they kept a seat for us.

"But we had other issues to sort out, and we don't want a new one. But that is the future in some way. You might like it or dislike it, it is going to come up.

"We were very serious about it. We had our own issues to resolve first, you don't want to open up another area before you're not solid yourself and have stabilised that area.

"But we were really on to it for a long time, since the time when they started talking about it. Actually it was postponed originally, it was meant to come in earlier but the rules were not clear, so we were really into it. But if the time's not right, one shouldn't force it."

Kaltenborn said a Formula E project would still be of value to the team.

"I think it was a logical step that if you can do this, and increase your portfolio of activities you're involved it," she added.

"For the brand it would have been interesting, to be part of something that is coming up like this. We will continue to look at it very carefully, and the door is not closed there for me. But it's an add-on.

"Definitely, it is something one should look at, it's very interesting, and see what synergies one can [find].

"Look at the Liberty Group itself, they have now got in here, they do have somewhere in the group, I'm not sure if it's the same entity, also an investment in Formula E.

"So they seem to see some synergies there but from a very different perspective again, so why shouldn't this work out for a team?"

However, Kaltenborn cautioned about what impact the increasing role of manufacturers will have on the fledgling all-electric series.

"If you see Formula E, the teams that started, there are a couple of them which are no longer there," she said. "Already manufacturers are coming in.

"We've seen when they come in, the costs hike, even if you try to keep a standard chassis, or standard parts, or whatever.

"You are already seeing the tendencies, how things are going to be opened season by season, which basically means it's going to be very expensive.

"So it will be interesting to see that the development, where we might have taken five or six years, maybe they'll be there in two years, and then let's see what's going to happen.

"Probably it's a lot of marketing ideas behind it, as it always is with manufacturers, and it will be interesting to see how long they take to reach the situation where one of them at least says 'I've had enough of it'."

shares
comments
Formula E season three predictions: Can Buemi be beaten?
Previous article

Formula E season three predictions: Can Buemi be beaten?

Next article

F1 take note: Jaguar and Formula E take things to the next level with Gorillaz

F1 take note: Jaguar and Formula E take things to the next level with Gorillaz
Load comments
The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams Prime

The sharing mentality that transformed the fortunes of two FE teams

Electing not to share data with its competitive customer team would have been a straightforward means of gaining an edge on at least one of Mercedes' Formula E rivals last season. But by reciprocating the relationship forged under its initial HWA guise, when it was a customer to Venturi, both teams have reaped the rewards

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait Prime

How Mercedes's Formula E squad replicated the F1 team's best trait

With its ultra-successful sister team in Formula 1 and a support network providing some of the best minds and resources in the business, Mercedes Formula E team principal Ian James knew his squad had all the winning ingredients. But mixing it together was no easy feat and required key attributes to be grown from within

Formula E
Nov 29, 2021
How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself Prime

How Formula E's polarising newcomer Ticktum can prove himself

OPINION: Few figures in racing today divide opinion like Dan Ticktum. The Formula 2 race winner now has the chance to wipe his professional slate clean with his move into Formula E, but it won't be easy at the squad which has brought up the rear for the past three years. Here are the three key criteria he must meet to make a lasting impression on the series.

Formula E
Nov 27, 2021
How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E Prime

How Mercedes pulled off a silent coup in Formula E

By virtue of its Formula 1 success, Mercedes was expected to rise to power in Formula E before long. That it won both the drivers' and manufacturers' championships this year, after only two seasons as a full works effort, belies a tricky path littered with potential pitfalls

Formula E
Nov 26, 2021
Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive Prime

Why electric racing cars should be four-wheel drive

OPINION: Circuit racing has traditionally favoured front- or rear-wheel-drive setups, eschewing the equal distribution of power. But for Formula E and other electric-powered series, our columnist believes it’s a perfect fit.

Formula E
Oct 13, 2021
How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success Prime

How motorsport's most prominent power couple found joint success

The Wolffs have carved their own paths in motorsport, leading their respective teams to success in Formula 1 and Formula E. But the two came together last month as their drivers finished first and second in the FE drivers' championship - a feat they are hugely proud of. In a rare joint interview, they reflect on a remarkable season

Formula E
Sep 21, 2021
The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21 Prime

The top 10 Formula E drivers of 2020-21

OPINION: The 2021 Formula E campaign was one without a narrative for much of the season, with no single car or driver able to break away from the pack. That makes choosing a top 10 especially difficult, particularly as the qualifying format meant some worthy performers were unable to enjoy their day in the sun.

Formula E
Sep 19, 2021
How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way Prime

How Mercedes and de Vries achieved Formula E glory the hard way

When Nyck de Vries dominated the first race of what would be the most controversial and unpredictable Formula E season to date, it looked as though Mercedes was in for a cakewalk. But as the campaign wore on, the path to a title double became increasingly rocky. Neither driver or team would be assured of the crown until the closing stages of the very final race on a weekend of struggle in Berlin.

Formula E
Sep 17, 2021