Sauber F1 Team Boss Monisha Kaltenborn believes the squad will not be held back by using 2016 specification Scuderia Ferrari engines this season.
The Swiss team have chosen to run the year-old power unit, despite Scuderia Toro Rosso not faring well when doing the same last season. Although the Faenza based squad started off strongly, their performance began to suffer in the latter half of the season, finding themselves down on power with no updates to their engine possible.
With the power unit token system also being made defunct in 2017, whilst the other teams are free to develop their engines away, Sauber will have to make do with the unit they started the season with.
Kaltenborn does not see this as a problem however, as she explained to Racer.com recently.
“We don’t know what the others are going to do on the power train. You have seen that the step between 2015 and 2016 was not that significant and I am sure that manufacturers are already working more on the reliability side considering that you are going down to four power units [from five in 2016], and that requires a lot of work too.
“I think if you look at how the performance development has been introduced, they are not that big chunks compared to 2014 and 2015.
“Of course it also depends on which engine supplier you have. We think we can cover a lot of that through aerodynamic development; that’s why we chose that step, so that we focus more on these new rules and on the chassis.
“After that, of course, we have to be there right from the beginning but our plan is absolutely to have a development package that goes on right through the season and doesn’t stop in the middle.”
This season is the Swiss team’s final year of running Ferrari engines, and the squad will be assessing their options for the future, That could include running Honda engines, which they have already enquired about with the Japanese manufacturer, or with Pascal Wehrlein now on their books, may also involve striking an engine deal with Mercedes next year.