Amidst the current speculation that the Sauber F1 team are experiencing financial difficulties and may not complete the 2016 Formula One season, Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Boss of the Hinwil-based squad, has moved to quash those theories.
“It seems to have taken off at a tangent because I was not in Bahrain,” said Kaltenborn to Motorsport.com at the Chinese Grand Prix. “There was no big deal to that, I had a few meetings and you reach a point before the race where you know that you’ll just be there for a day and lose the Monday. That’s all that was behind it.
“It seems to be a hobby that some people have, just to make stories out of nothing. So to go to the extent that some people went just because of the fact that I’m not there is actually quite ridiculous.
“Just because I’m not there somebody out there raises a question and it takes off like nothing. People should engage their brains in something slightly more intelligent than just making up things just because I’m not at a race. I didn’t know I’m that important to people.”
Kaltenborn also confirmed that the team are currently in discussions with potential investors in order to be able to be more competitive, with Sauber one of the smaller independent teams on the Formula 1 grid.
“We are in talks with a partner, or people for a partnership. There are many options there, and that’s what we’re following. If you are a team like ours you are always looking for a strong partner.
“We are not owned by a manufacturer, we are not owned by a big company that’s always there. If you go back, since BMW left we have always been open to a strong partner, because that gets you further up. Nothing has changed.”
We have been here before with Sauber back in 2013, when the Swiss squad were again cash-strapped and looking like they would go under. At the time, they announced a deal had been struck with a Russian conglomerate to invest in the team, solving their money troubles and securing their future in F1. That deal however was never forthcoming, believed to have stalled due to political sanctions placed on Russia, but nonetheless, since that point Sauber have been unable to find a further source of capital to boost the squad’s operation.
Are the comments just another rouse by the Hinwil based squad to get the media off their back, or are they truly confident of finding a backer? But once again we are seeing another small, privateer team struggle to keep their head above water, as they attempt to run a Formula One team, under the current sky-high cost margins.