Sauber feels big step ahead is close now

Sauber feels big step ahead is close now

Formula 1

Sauber feels big step ahead is close now


Sauber team officials believe the Swiss F1 team could be on the verge of an upswing in form over the second half of the season.

After an encouraging performance in the German Grand Prix, where Nico Hulkenberg delivered a second consecutive point-scoring finish, team members think they are finally getting to the bottom of the car problems that dogged its start to the campaign.

They also suspect that the switch back to the 2012 construction of tires from the Hungarian Grand Prix will be a boost to its speed.

“It is important to know that we are now in a position where we can fight with other cars, we can keep up with them and overtake them,” team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said. “That is what we need to take forward, because that gives us the confidence that we have understood the issues, and we have implemented small steps.

“Of course, the recent results were small but they are there, but now we want to implement bigger steps to move us in the right direction.”

Kaltenborn suspects that one of the biggest factors in its early-season struggles with the C32 was that it failed to get a proper understanding of the aerodynamic influence of the 2013 tires in its wind tunnel modeling. That is why she is encouraged by the fact that Pirelli is reverting to last year’s construction, which the team handled better.

When asked if she hoped that the tire change would have a knock-on benefit in wind tunnel terms, she said: “I do — but on the other hand I have to say it couldn’t get much worse than it was before! Anything coming in can only be better. But it is still something that we need to understand better. We have to see what the combination of that [2012] construction and this year’s compounds is like.

“We have to see how it finally works out, but definitely it is more in to a direction we know.”