Grand prix returnee Pedro de la Rosa has rubbished suggestions that Sauber could be set to 'do a Brawn GP' and come out of the starting blocks and surprise everyone in F1 2010 – as he instead eyes merely consistent, 'solid points' and underlines that 'before you dream you have to work'.
The former BMW operation – which reverted to 'independent' status following the departure of its parent company at the end of the 2009 campaign, though which continues to officially carry the Bavarian manufacturer's name – has been one of the unexpected front-runners during pre-season testing come rain or shine at Valencia, Jerez de la Frontera and Barcelona, in the hands of both veteran de la Rosa and highly-rated young rookie team-mate Kamui Kobayashi.
For a team that faced wholesale shutdown only a matter of months ago in the wake of BMW's withdrawal, that is pretty impressive going, and the Ferrari-powered C29 is clearly a neat and competitive package. de la Rosa, though, cautions against trying to run before Sauber has even proven that it can walk in its new era.
“Before you dream you have to work, I always say,” the Spaniard – who last competed in a grand prix for McLaren-Mercedes back in 2006, and last raced full-time in the top flight a staggering eight years ago – told GPUpdate
. “I want to score points. I'm not going to go crazy – I want to be a solid points-scorer and that's what my aim is. My dream? I know what it is, but I'll keep it to myself, otherwise you'll maybe call me a dreamer at the end of the year and I don't want that!”
The second-oldest man in the current field at 39 – behind only fellow comeback star Michael Schumacher at Mercedes Grand Prix – de la Rosa is palpably excited to have rejoined the fray, though he fears Sauber's 'underdog' status will only be exacerbated this year, with fewer opportunities to pull off David vs. Goliath-esque performances than was the case with the raft of regulation upheavals this time twelve months ago.
“I think one thing we have to make clear is that we are under technical regulations which have been exploited to the maximum already, so there are no new double-diffusers or anything like that,” the Barcelona native stressed. “Everyone has one and knows what to expect from the aerodynamics, so I don't think there will be miracles.
“It's a completely different season. We won't be Brawn GP. That team exploited the regulations better than anyone in a new area; now everyone knows the regulations very well, so I don't think we will see a Brawn GP again. The teams that work more and have more resources will dominate, that's how it will be – but we have very good people, that's clear to me.”