It is no secret that the Sauber F1 team has been struggling financially this season, missing a week of pre-season testing prior to the start of the campaign as well as sitting out the recent in-season test session in Barcelona. They have also already been late with staff payments, and developments or upgrades are few and far between.
Team Boss Monisha Kaltenborn is however more confident than most that the Swiss squad will turn things around, and speaking after the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix she emphasised the teams commitment to overcoming their challenges.
“We are working very hard to overcome the situation and I’m confident that we’ll resolve it shortly.”
It is true that the team enjoyed a more successful time under the management of Peter Sauber, but Kaltenborn is quick to point out that F1 is no longer run in the same manner as it was back then, and so the challenges faced by the team in today’s world, are very different.
“I think Formula 1 has changed a lot. If you look at the times when Peter Sauber was here, it was a very different sport and a very different kind of business with a very different financial set-up and sporting set-up. So I don’t think that you can really compare the times…
“Challenges for private teams like ours have become bigger, year-by-year, particularly also due to the rule changes which have made things in the last few years far more expensive. If you look at the powertrain itself but also with regard to the distribution of income…
“There was a time when teams were not getting 50 per cent [of the income] but even less, but yet the economic environment was much better, where you could get far more sponsors. “It isn’t just the people or the situation at the team, but the overall surroundings.”
What the Sauber F1 team did not need is the situation that befell them at the Monaco Grand Prix this weekend, when drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr took each other out of the race when fighting over team orders. It was a disappointing result with both cars sustaining damage, and was definitely not a very good advert for potential sponsors.