Peter Sauber insists he has no regrets about re-taking control of the F1 team he founded despite a tough start to 2010 – and admitted he would do the same thing all over again.
BMW's decision to leave the sport left question marks over the future of the Hinwil-based team, with Sauber stepping in to retake control after a proposed sale to the Qadbak Group fell through due to a lack of funding required to complete the deal.
However, the 2010 season has proved to be nothing short of a disaster to date, with Sauber enduring its worst ever start to a season and failing to score during the first four races of the year.
Despite that, Sauber said he would do the same again even of the hopes at the start of the season have now had to be revised.
“At the end of November I had two choices,” he said. “Either take over the team or see Hinwil close its doors. The latter was not an option for me. It was always clear that it wouldn't be easy. But I'd do the same thing again!
“Of course, we're all disappointed that we haven't collected any points with four races gone. After all, our aim was to be fighting for World Championship points on a regular basis. We've suffered too many reliability issues on both the chassis side and with our engines. That's very unusual; we've always been one of the best teams in this respect over the years. We've closely analysed all the chassis-related problems and already put measures into effect. Our engine partner Ferrari is doing the same.”
The team will bring in a series of improvements to the C29 in Barcelona in an effort to improve performance, with new technical director James Key having already started to evaluate possible improvements that can be made to the cars of Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi.
Any improvements will be made despite the team having so far failed to find a major backer for 2010, but Sauber again insisted that the budget needed to complete the season was already in place.
“When I bought the team at the end of November we didn't have any sponsors or a place on the grid; I went into the project with open eyes,” he said. “The car was all white. However, I couldn't have predicted that the C29 would be so far off the pace. Of course it was fanciful to think we could still recruit major sponsors for 2010 at the start of the year.
“Having said that, we are financially secure for this season. Our search for new sponsors primarily concerns 2011, although of course that doesn't mean we aren't already trying to bring new sponsors on board this year.”