Sauber's new technical director James Key has said he is confident the outfit can recover from its disastrous start to the F1 2010 season.
Thus far this year the former BMW-backed outfit has had a tough time and Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi have both been severely hampered by reliability problems. Indeed to date the Ferrari-powered C29 has only completed one grand prix distance, when de la Rosa brought the car home in twelfth in Australia at the end of March.
Key, who has been brought in to replace the retiring Willy Rampf, isn't too alarmed though, and he believes there is a lot of potential.
"My first impressions [of the team] are very good. We have an excellent group of people here, and the expertise and the knowledge are at a very high level. And, of course, the facilities are state-of the-art. There is enormous potential," he confirmed.
"Everything is here that needs to be here to ensure the team can move forward, although there is also much work to be done. The team is still recovering from its uncertain situation in the second half of 2009 [when BMW pulled out]. It requires a slightly new approach to the way certain areas work to make better use of the size the team is now."
Pressed of if it is 'realistic' to believe Sauber can move up the grid this year, he added it is definitely possible: "I believe it is, because we now know what we need to do with the current car," he explained. "However, for some issues there are no quick fixes. Some current characteristics of the car need to be developed to produce new characteristics, which takes time. So we will work as quickly as possible to turn that around.
"Targets have been set and they are very ambitious. It's certainly possible to move up the grid, but the competition is fierce so we have to do everything we can to develop quicker than they do."
As for this weekend's event at the Circuit de Catalunya in Spain, Key is hopeful they can begin the process of moving forward straight away.
"We have some updates for Barcelona, as most of the teams will have. We are trying to push our F-Duct design a step further. This is obviously a technology that will eventually appear all the way down the grid during the year, but our team has some experience of it from the first events,” he continued.