Sauber focused on getting back into the midfield in 2017


World © Octane Photographic Ltd. Sauber F1 Team C35 – Felipe Nasr. Saturday 26th November 2016, F1 Abu Dhabi GP - Qualifying, Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi.

Sauber F1 Team boss Monisha Kaltenborn has advised that the squad are focused on making big steps forward in 2017, and the financial issues they experienced in 2016 have not hampered their progress.

Having suffered from financial issues for the first half of last year, although updates were produced for their C35, they were unable to push ahead with them until investors were finally found in July. The takeover saved the Swiss team from folding, allowing them to re-group and refocus their priorities for a big push this year, despite the later than usual start on their 2017 project.

Speaking to autosport.com recently, Kaltenborn outlined the Hinwil based squad’s targets.

“It’s not a transition year, we have a vision and that’s set up for the next coming years.

“Whatever we want to achieve in the first year, we will do.

“The target is clearly to make a big step ahead, to be back in the midfield and take it from there.

“Next year is a very crucial year.

“We’re not just going to say ‘it’s now a transition and we’ve had enough and now it’s time to get on with the business’.”

Securing tenth place in the constructor’s championship at the penultimate round of the year in Brazil, when driver Felipe Nasr came home in ninth place, relegated Manor Racing MRT to the bottom of the pile, and ensured valuable funds for Sauber, who received around $13.5 million in prize money.

That extra boost in income and security from investors will go towards finding some solid sponsors for the team next season, something their car was visibly lacking in 2016, and Kaltenborn is confident the squad will have plenty of interest in their package this time around.

“There has to be [more sponsorship] and there will be because there are more people who are actually interested.

“They are seeing that there is a change here, this is a big change we are getting people in and they are thinking, ‘why don’t we hop on and be part of it?’

“It’s just a very positive and good atmosphere and it will show also in partnerships.”