Léna Bühler joins Sauber Academy
Léna Bühler will be part of the Sauber Academy, as the Swiss racer becomes the latest female driver associated with a F1 team driver development program. Bühler will tackle the brand-new F1 Academy all-female championship.
Launched in 2020, the Sauber Academy was set up to provide a development pathway for elite racing drivers, from grassroots levels in karting up to single seaters, with the goal of reaching the pinnacle of the sport. A new driver is set to join the programme in 2023 – and it will be the first female driver to be part of the project: Léna Bühler has been announced as the new entry, as the Swiss driver will be part of the ART Grand Prix line up for the inaugural season of the all-female F1 Academy championship, promoted by F1. “Joining the Sauber Academy is an amazing chance for which I am extremely grateful", said Léna. "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.” Bühler was a big name in European karting, having progressed quickly from Swiss and continental competitions from 2016 to 2019, before making her debut in Formula 4 in the highly-competitive Spanish championship in 2020 – consistently scoring points and claiming two top-5 finishes. She then made the step up to Formula Regional European Championship, where she contested the full 2021 campaign and a partial 2022 season, interrupted after the Monaco round for financial reasons. Almost eight months later, she made her return to the track at the F4 UAE Championship, where Bühler had the opportunity to get back in the rhythm and learn the new Tatuus T-421 car ahead of her debut in F1 Academy. With the support of Sauber, Bühler will hopefully have the chance to finally thrive, in an environment that can nurture young talents and learn in state of the art facilities. Sauber has always been a name associated with talent scouting, having brought to the biggest stage stars like Michael Schumacher, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Sebastian Vettel, Robert Kubica, Sergio Pérez, Kimi Räikkönen.
“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", commented Sauber Sporting Director Beat Zehnder. "Sauber Academy’s 2023 roster is very promising, and I am looking forward to working with each of the drivers. Currently associated with the Sauber Academy are also F2 driver Theo Pourchaire, Marcus Amand, Taym Saleh.
Sauber becomes the sixth F1 team to include at least one female driver among its junior programmes. Léna Bühler is in fact the ninth woman to be associated with a F1 team, joining Abbi Pulling (Alpine), Alice Powell (Alpine, in a scouting role), Sophia Floersch (Alpine), Maya Weug (Ferrari), Aurelia Nobels (Ferrari), Luna Fluxa (Mercedes AMG), Jamie Chadwick (Williams) and Jessica Hawkins (Aston Martin).