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Sauber paying the price for 2013 ambitions

Sauber's disappointing 2014 season is a consequence of the ambitions the team showed during last season.

Sauber enjoyed their second best season to-date during the 2012 Formula One World Championship, only eclipsed by their third place finish in the constructors championship coming in 2008.

The pairing of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez resulted in a podium finish for both drivers and 126 point haul resulting in a sixth place finish in the F1 constructors championship.

Sauber then opted to change both drivers, Pérez making the move to McLaren with Kobayashi dropped.

In came Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez.

The team didn't quite reach up to the highs of 2012, no podium finishes were achieved, but regular points were scored, at least by Hülkenberg, with the German driver finishing in the points on ten occasions.

The 57 points scored was enough for a seventh place constructors championship finish, but that push last season has heavily impacted on the performance of this seasons car.

'Last season where we took a decision to continue on that year’s car, knowing full well that this would mean taking a considerable risk on the new 2014 car, and the development of that car in light of the massive changes which were coming up.

'We took that decision and it turned out to be the right decision for last season, but we didn’t expect that we would be facing as many issues as we are now.
Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn told

This season Sauber have failed to score a single Formula One World Championship point.

Adrian Sutil has finished eleventh on two separate occasions, with the team struggling for reliability.

Sutil and Gutiérrez have suffered a combined ten retirements this season and Sauber currently sit behind Marussia in the constructors championship with only Caterham behind them in the standings.

Part of Sauber's problems has been the power-train, Sauber are a customer of Ferrari and Ferrari's engine has not lived up to the power and reliability of Mercedes.

'This is definitely a very powertrain related season. There is one powertrain out there - and unfortunately it is not ours - that has a huge competitive advantage over the others.

Kaltenborn remains confident that Sauber will improve during the 2014 season, but she is also relieved that the work done this year will be of benefit next season: 'We’ve had a very rough start, but looking at our side - the chassis side - we have made steps and introduced improvements. It’s just that when the gap is so big you don’t immediately see that improvement from the outside, nor in the performance or in points. We have to keep to our path. The advantage compared to last year is that there is not such a massive change for 2015. What you do now can be used next year. I also can say that from the powertrain side our engine supplier has been doing a lot and I know that they are absolutely flat out in wanting to make improvements. So we will get there together.

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday August 13 2014

Time: 10:00AM


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