F1 paddock legend, Josef Leberer, will crown a career spanning more than three decades with the appointment as Sauber Motorsport Ambassador.
The affable Austrian, who spent 36 years working with drivers and teams in his capacity as a physiotherapist and trainer, will remain with Sauber, the team with which he became synonymous in the last 27 years, and will take up a series of roles that will treasure his experience and story-telling abilities.
Josef Leberer is a name that needs no introduction to those within the Formula One paddock, although the man himself is not one to seek the limelight with the public. Most famous for being the physical trainer of Ayrton Senna from 1988 to 1994, Leberer worked with some of the biggest names in the sport over an incredible career that started at McLaren in 1988. Alain Prost, Mika Häkkinen, Kimi Räikkönen, Sebastian Vettel – some of the leading drivers from many eras of motorsport have put their well-being in Josef’s capable hands; the list includes all Sauber and Alfa Romeo drivers since 1997, when the Salzburger joined the Hinwil squad, providing support to the team crew as well.
Leberer’s skills, however, are more than what his professional skills warranted: not just a physio, working on the physical and mental aspects of training; but someone who understands the psychology of drivers and teams alike; someone who can be the glue that holds a team together; someone who transcends his role and becomes an embodiment of the team itself.
In his new role as Sauber Motorsport Ambassador, Leberer will be the face of campaigns highlighting the heritage and legacy of Sauber as the team progresses towards its future. The Austrian’s experience and intimate knowledge of the sport will allow him to give a unique insight into Formula One over the decades, on working with its biggest stars and extracting human performance from drivers and crew. A man with a million stories, Leberer will make his expertise open to team partners and fans to provide a glimpse into our sport and provide something akin to a time capsule of eras long gone by – for years to come.
Josef Leberer will switch to his new Sauber Ambassador role on January 1st, 2024, following the conclusion of the 2023 season.
Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Team Representative: “Josef is a legend of the sport, an example of commitment and expertise that has been through more than three decades of Formula One – one of those figures our sport ought to celebrate. He is more than just a trainer, he played a part in some of the most historical moments of motorsports and embodies the legacy and heritage of F1. In his role, and by his own personal nature, Josef has never been someone to look for public attention: such a wealth of knowledge, however, deserves to be shared with the world, and I hope he will be able to use his new role as Sauber Motorsport Ambassador to bring these stories to light and share them with our partners and fans.”
Josef Leberer, Sauber Motorsport Ambassador: “Formula One has been my life for 36 years, and Sauber my home for 27. I have been through a lot with the team, and I am looking forward to this new chapter in my relationship with it – and in my life. As a Sauber Motorsport Ambassador, I hope I can show the passion that has animated me throughout my career, and that I can bring to life the incredible stories that I have been part of in so many years in Formula One. I want to show what this sport is really about, and hopefully inspire new generations of fans to be involved with a sport that has meant, and still means, everything to me.”