Raising the champions of the future: Sauber Academy announces 2023 line-up
Sauber Academy will continue nurturing talent on the road to Formula One, as the driver development programme unveiled its roster for 2023. FIA Formula 2 2022 runner-up, Théo Pourchaire, will fly the flag for Sauber Academy for a fourth consecutive year, joined by F1 Academy novice Lena Bühler, French-Finnish rising star Marcus Amand and karting racer Taym Saleh.
The Sauber Academy was launched in 2020 as a full development pathway, giving young drivers access to Sauber’s expertise and know-how and allowing them to take part in a tailor-made development programme to complement their 2023 racing activities. Through mental and physical training, technical work with the team’s engineers, media training and work on the simulator, all Academy inductees are provided with the necessary preparation to progress on their way to their ultimate target, Formula One.
One of the most promising drivers climbing up the motorsport ladder, Théo Pourchaire was first inducted in the Sauber Academy in 2020. The Frenchman finished his second Formula 2 season as runner-up, having been in the battle for the crown until the final rounds; he will continue racing in the series in 2023, fully motivated to conquer the title, while also graduating to a reserve driver role with Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake following his Free Practice debut during the 2022 Formula One season.
Swiss Léna Bühler took part in BMX competitions at national and international level for about ten years before making the switch to karting in 2016. She quickly adapted to the new environment, where she got the chance to prove her abilities and potential. She then moved up to the FIA Formula Regional European Championship, continuing to race in the series in 2022, as well as taking part in the Formula Regional Asian Championship. After a busy start to 2023 in the Formula 4 UAE Championship, Léna will debut in the newly launched F1 Academy series, which aims to develop and prepare young female drivers to reach the highest levels of motorsport.
After collecting several national and international karting trophies, Franco-Finnish Marcus Amand made his single-seater debut in 2021 in the ADAC F4 Germany series, where he continued racing in 2022, pairing the experience with outings in Italian F4. Supported by Sauber Motorsport’s drivers’ development programme, he will make the move to Formula Regional European Championship in 2023.
Promising talent Taym Saleh got his first taste of karting at the age of five. He rose through the ranks in just a few years, collecting national and European trophies on the way: currently flying the flag for the Sauber Karting Team, the young German will be competing in the CIK-OK Championship, as he grows and develops his skills further, ultimately aiming for the pinnacle of Motorsport.
Under the supervision of Sauber Motorsport’s Sporting Director, Beat Zehnder, the Sauber Academy will also feature training camps for the off-season, media training sessions and access to the most professional resources available to Sauber Motorsport.
Beat Zehnder, Sporting Director of Sauber Motorsport: “Discovering and nurturing young talent has always been at the center of Sauber Motorsport’s philosophy, with the ultimate aim of raising the champions of tomorrow. Sauber Academy’s 2023 roster is very promising, and I am looking forward to working with each of the drivers. Théo’s growth and development ever since he joined have been a source of great pride for us, including his promotion to being one of our Formula One team’s official reserve drivers. We are also delighted to welcome Léna, Marcus, and Taym to the Academy. We will be by their side in the next steps of their careers, providing them with the tools, the education and the resources needed to succeed in the world of motorsport: we cannot wait to get started and unlock their potential further together.”
Théo Pourchaire: “Being part of the Sauber Academy is a massive opportunity for me, and I am thankful for that. I wouldn’t be where I am right now, and I wouldn’t have had the chances I was given without their support. I feel part of a great family and a great team, which gives me a further push to obtain the best possible results. This year will be a busy one, splitting my time between Formula 2 and my reserve driver duties, but I am ready and motivated for the challenge.”
Léna Bühler: “Joining the Sauber Academy is an amazing chance for which I am extremely grateful. I am very much looking forward to working together with the team as I make a further step in my motorsport career, joining the F1 Academy series. With Sauber Academy, I know I will have the guidance and support, learning from their over three decades of experience in Formula One.”
Marcus Amand: “I am absolutely pleased to be inducted in the Sauber Academy and to have their support as I move onto a new experience in the Formula Regional European Championship. My aim for this year is to continue improving my knowledge and skills, developing as a driver, and I am confident I will achieve that through the support of the Academy’s extensive expertise. I can’t wait to begin the journey to Formula One together.”
Taym Saleh: “I am proud to have been selected to join the Sauber Academy, and thankful for their support. Several drivers rose through the ranks and made their debut with Sauber Motorsport, and it is a goal of mine to join them in the future. It is a great honour that they have seen the potential in me and intend to invest in my future.”