Sauber now ready and able to fight in the midfield pack


Sauber F1 Team - Monaco GP 2017. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

The Sauber F1 Team are confident they now have the financial stability to compete with the midfield runners this season, as they push to develop the C36 throughout the year.

The Hinwil based squad struggled on the monetary front for a number of seasons, unable to develop their car and almost having to fold for good, before Swiss financial organisation Longbow Finance came to their rescue, buying them out last year.

Now almost a year further on, the Swiss team have rebuilt their personnel structure and steadied the ship financially, and Technical Director Jorg Zander believes they now have the budget and the people behind them to start fighting higher up the order.

Zander, who has worked for the likes of BMW, Audi, Toyota and Honda throughout his lengthy career, so has a wealth of experience to move a team forward, feels that everything has now fallen into place for Sauber to make their mark in F1 once again.

“I think we have actually quite a good budget, so we have all opportunity that you can find in other midfield teams to do a decent development and cover those development processes.

“So, from that perspective, I think we are not too badly adjusted at all.

“The way I see Sauber is actually, from the point of talent level, actually quite good. We have very experienced people, people have a good talent, they are very competent. “They have been in the sport for a long time, so I think you may want to look into the economic side of things, which are really decent but you have to look from a human resource point of view as well, what kind of quality level of human resource do you have available for your developments. “I think Sauber is actually placed very well in that regard.”

Although they may well have the staff, the positive vibes and funding to make things work, the year old Scuderia Ferrari engine they are powered by this season, appears to be currently holding them back, and they have often found themselves languishing towards the back end of the grid so far in 2017.

An eighth place for driver Pascal Wehrlein in Spain, following a well thought out strategy and strong driver from the German was a bonus, but how likely that sort of result is to be replicated again this year without the possibility of updating their power unit at any stage, is up for debate.