Jörg Zander wants to see a clear improvement at Sauber F1 Team compared to last season, with the team only breaking into the points once in 2016.
Zander was confirmed as the Technical Director for Sauber, after leaving his role at Audi in the wake of its withdrawal from the World Endurance Championship, and he is no stranger to the Swiss team, as between 2006 and 2007 he was the chief designer for BMW Sauber.
The 2016 Formula 1 season was difficult for Sauber after financial problems hindered their track progress, and after an investment from Longbow Finance their season was uplifted. Their track performance improved and they were able to gain much needed points to see them finish the season ahead of Manor Racing.
With the season ending on a high, everyone at the Hinwil-based outfit are much more motivated, Zander confirms there are expectations from Sauber for the 2017 season.
“After the frustrations and fears of the recent turbulence,” said Zander. “Everyone is now much more motivated. There are obviously expectations; the team wants change, stability and direction and that is what we strive to achieve together.”
For most of last season, Sauber were fighting Manor for positions and points, with one point from Pascal Wehrlein in Austria, Manor were ahead until Felipe Nasr finished ninth at the Brazilian Grand Prix. For 2017 their object is to establish themselves in the midfield, but with new regulations being introduced, it is impossible for any team to exactly predict their performance.
“I want to see a clear improvement compared to last year,” added Zander. “All of us in Hinwil want that. Our objective is to establish ourselves in the midfield.
“In comparison to last year, we will implement our development plan for the whole season, but we have to be realistic as our reference is at a lower level than the ones of our competitors. We are on plan with the C36 and we are optimistic that our current development is heading in the right direction.
“At the moment it is impossible to make any predictions compared to our competitors due to the new regulations. Overall, 2017 will be an important year for us.