Home Featured Sauber adds Lena Buhler and Marcus Amand to its F1 junior team

Sauber adds Lena Buhler and Marcus Amand to its F1 junior team

by Ida Wood

Photo: F4 UAE

Lena Buhler and Marcus Amand have joined Sauber’s young driver development programme for 2023.

The Sauber Academy will have four members, led by Formula 2 star Theo Pourchaire and with three other members being new signings as junior karter Taym Saleh only joined a few weeks ago.

Since 2020 its karting team has also run Miguel Costa, but he has never been part of the academy and he has now departed the karting team too to become a factory driver for Parolin but claims he is still “under Sauber Academy” for this year.

Buhler will be racing for ART Grand Prix in the new Formula 4-spec F1 Academy series in 2023, and is embarking on her fourth year in single-seater racing. She raced in Spanish F4 in 2020, coming 15th in the championship with two top-five finishes, then stepped up to Formula Regional Europe with R-ace GP for 2021 and a points-free campaign left her languishing down in 38th in the standings.

Last year she stayed with R-ace to contest FRegional’s Asian and European championships, coming 29th in the former after only contesting two rounds and then running out of budget after just one European round.

At the start of 2023 she returned to F4 to prepare for F1 Academy, joining R2Race in the United Arab Emirates series. Throughout the season she has raced in a car and in overalls with Sauber Academy branding, even though her inclusion in the academy was under embargo. She currently lies 31st in the standings.

“Joining the Sauber Academy is an amazing chance for which I am extremely grateful,” said Buhler.

“I’m 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 1.”

Amand will also race for ART GP this year, but in FREC. The French-Finnish driver was European junior karting champion in 2019 and stepped up to car racing in 2021 with R-ace GP in ADAC F4, where he finished 12th as a rookie.

Switching to US Racing for 2022, he contested a full season in Italian F4 and placed ninth in the standings with one podium. He also picked up a podium from two rounds in ADAC F4.

“I’m absolutely pleased to be inducted in the Sauber Academy and to have their support as I move onto a new experience in FREC,” Amand said.

“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 F1 together.”

Sauber is the operating company behind the Alfa Romeo Racing F1 team, who Pourchaire is reserve driver for this year. Its sporting director Beat Zehnder commented that “Theo’s growth and development ever since he joined have been a source of great pride for us”.