Sauber has become “much more attractive” to both sponsors and potential employees as a result of its Alfa Romeo partnership, according to team principal Frederic Vasseur.
It was announced in December of last year that Alfa Romeo would become the title partner of Sauber, with the most recent Ferrari power units being supplied to the team as a result. Following confirmation of Alfa Romeo’s involvement, Sauber has also announced five other partnerships – with Richard Mille, Carrera, Kappa, Claro and Garage Italia – and Vasseur says the deal opens up new opportunities on a number of fronts.
“It’s a very important step for us at the team because we are all very proud to be linked with an historic brand in F1,” Vasseur told RACER. “I think it’s important to build up a team spirit and to have this kind of deal and this kind of approach. Then on the sponsorship for sure it’s a step forward as well.
“We are much more attractive to other sponsors and we are also much more attractive for recruitment. As soon as we did the announcement for Alfa Romeo I received a lot of CVs and there is a kind of expectation around the team and the sponsorship side and the recruitment. It’s a good move and a good feeling for everybody.”
Despite his reference to expectations, Vasseur insists levels have not been overly raised by the new partnership, as he is only tasking the team with showing consistent improvement during the coming year regardless of its starting point.
“For me it’s difficult to predict where we will be on the grid, and I think it’s not always a good idea to have this kind of target. The main topic for me is to be able to improve. We know where we are, we know where we were last year – which is far away – and the most important thing is to catch up with the field and then to improve during the season.
“We are reinforcing the team in every single department. Some of the guys joined the team in the last weeks and some of them will join the team over the next months. The most important thing for me is to show that we are going to improve from last year, and then at every single event we have to show that we are heading in a good way and to improve during the season.”