Sauber drivers Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi were disqualified from the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday for technical infringements, after finishing seventh and eighth, International Automobile Federation (FIA) stewards said in a statement.
Sauber would appeal, the team said in a statement.
Mexican rookie Perez had earlier celebrated a fairytale debut in Formula One, riding his luck on a single change of tyres to finish seventh while more seasoned drivers made two or three stops to change their Pirellis.
The 21-year-old would have become the first Mexican to score championship points in 30 years.
Japan's Kobayashi had also impressed, finishing eighth for the Swiss-based team on a day principal Peter Sauber had described as a "dream start to the season".
The stewards said they were being disqualified for infringements relating to the rear wings of their cars.
Pending the result of the appeal, their disqualification would mean Ferrari's Felipe Massa being promoted from ninth to seventh and Toro Rosso's Sebastien Buemi from tenth to eighth.
Force India's Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta would be promoted to ninth and tenth respectively.
"This is a very surprising and disappointing result," Sauber's technical director James Key said in a statement.
"It appears that there is a question over the top surface of the uppermost rear wing element; this area is not the working surface of the component and therefore relatively unimportant to its function.
"Certainly this has not lead to any performance advantage. We are checking the design of the parts now to better understand the situation and we intend to appeal the decision made by the stewards," he added.