Whilst there was some handicap using a year-old Ferrari engine last season, the Sauber F1 Team was not good enough with their aerodynamics, according to Team Principal Frederic Vasseur.
The Frenchman took over the role at the Hinwil-based squad during the summer following the departure of Monisha Kaltenborn, and immediately set about turning around the fortunes of the team, with only three points finishes coming in the past two seasons.
This included cancelling a planned contract with Honda to supply engines in 2018, and upgrading their relationship with Ferrari to include current year power units, Ferrari Driver Academy star Charles Leclerc as driver, and Alfa Romeo as a sponsor.
However, Vasseur feels using the excuse the team were using a year-old engine cannot be justified, and there were other areas that could have been done better to bring them closer to the rest of the field.
“We have to honest with ourselves,” said Vasseur to Autosport. “The biggest issue wasn’t the engine. The engine was 2016, but the handicap was only a couple of tenths.
“If you compare with the other teams, the biggest issue was on the chassis side, and we have to be focused on this and push like hell on the aero.
“At least you will remove the engine from being a preoccupation [in 2018]”