Following an aggressive strategy at the Spanish Grand Prix, Sauber F1 Team’s Pascal Wehrlein managed to finish seventh, however was pushed down to eighth after a five-second time penalty.
This now means that the team are ahead of the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team in the Constructor’s Championship, however with last year’s Ferrari engine, Sauber will have to work hard to stay there as they are likely to lose competitiveness throughout the season.
To solve this, Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn has challenged her team to make up for this with regular car development.
Whilst speaking to media, and asked about if Wehrlein’s points in Spain were due to the fact the team used a year-old power unit, she commented to Racer: “It’s very interesting that now people are trying to argue it this way because before that our car clearly lacks also on the aero side.
“But there are many factors. It is never right to say it was just the powertrain, the car is not there where it should be. The powertrain we all knew, so there’s no reason to make a drama out of that because we knew what it was going to be. Up until now we have had situations where we could not utilise the power of the entire engine.
“So it’s simply not correct to blame it all on the engine, you have to be fair enough and say the car is also not quite there. But our aero department took the words they got to hear a while ago extremely seriously and they know what they have to deliver.
“It’s a high target. I told you there’s going to be a very aggressive, demanding development plan which is in place and they have to achieve that. You have the stability, you have all the funds for it, that the technical side has to deliver.”
Despite this, Kaltenborn also stated that the initial signs were good after the team introduced new upgrades for the car in Barcelona.
“It was very small, so actually that’s very promising which tells you that whatever was brought there was in the right direction and that gives you all the confidence for the next update coming up.”
The Team Principal was also asked about whether or not Sauber will fight McLaren for the rest of the season.
“I hope so!” she replied. “We should never underestimate them, it’s a very experienced team. They have a lot more resources – maybe financial, maybe personnel-wise – so we should not take that challenge lightly.”