Paddy Lowe back in F1 with Sauber sponsor Zero Petroleum


Veteran F1 engineer Paddy Lowe has re-entered the sport through Zero Petroleum, the carbon-neutral synthetic fuel company founded by the former McLaren, Mercedes and Williams tech boss.

This partnership marks Lowe's return to F1 after his 2019 departure from Williams, where he served as Chief Technical Officer.

While Sauber currently utilizes Shell fuel and lubricants, the team maintains the freedom to partner with other companies within the sector. It recently sealed a sponsorship deal American oil company Sunoco for F1’s three US races.

Zero's branding will appear on the Sauber cars of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu for all non-American races in 2024, capitalizing on Sauber's global reach before the team transitions to the Audi identity in 2026.

This strategic move allows Zero to gain significant exposure within the F1 landscape, potentially paving the way for future partnerships as the sport increasingly embraces sustainable solutions.

“Zero has implemented F1 values into everything we do, from our technical approach to our relentless pursuit of peak performance, and we look forward to discovering even greater synergy by working with Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber and their superb drivers, Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu,” commented Lowe.

“When a team’s partnership roster includes a Guinness-World-Record-holding synthetic fuel company alongside rap superstar Drake, you know they’re serious about expanding the sport to new audiences.”


Using carbon dioxide from air and hydrogen from water, Zero developed and manufactured a whole-blend synthetic, non-biological fuel in a completely fossil-free process.

It also opened the world’s first fully featured synthetic fuel plant, near Oxford, UK, and has plans to build a commercial-scale plant that will begin production in 2026.

“At Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber, we take our commitment to sustainability seriously, and our partnership with Zero is another step on the path to 100% carbon-neutral, drop-in synthetic fuel,” added Alessandro Alunni Bravi, Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber Team Representative.

“Both Zero and Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber are new names in Formula One – there’s nobody better placed to explore technical solutions the world has never seen before.”

Former Williams driver and 1996 F1 world champion Damon Hill was among Zero’s early investors.

“I was keen to join Zero as an early investor because I believe in Paddy’s mission and his undeniable credentials – in the short time since, the progress they’ve made has been nothing short of remarkable,” said the Briton.

“It comes as no surprise to me that Zero is teaming up with Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber to support their 2024 campaign, as the pace of Zero’s development and drive toward net zero is comparable only to that found in Formula One.

“The sport is in good hands with Zero and Stake F1 Team KICK Sauber joining forces, and I look forward to the coming season with even more interest.”

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