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Sauber still targeting fifth overall

The Sauber team is still aiming to usurp Mercedes from fifth place in the F1 constructors' championship, depsite having just four races left to bridge a 20-point gap....
Despite a scoreless weekend in Korea, the Sauber F1 team is still pursuing its goal of wresting fifth place in the constructors' standings from the works Mercedes squad.

The two teams are separated by 20 points with four grands prix remaining between now and the end of November and, although the gap has fluctuated from race to race as the rivals from Hinwil and Brackley take turns to reap the bigger score, Sauber appears to have the better car heading towards the conclusion.

Neither team scored in Korea, with Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi being independently affected by separate first lap incidents, although the Mexican eventually came within tenths of a second of stealing the final point from Lewis Hamilton. By contrast, Kobayashi's impression of an unguided missile accounted for Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, while Michael Schumacher could not better 13th spot, resulting in championship stalemate between the two teams.

Despite that frustration, Sauber's new team principal, Monisha Kaltenborn insists that 2012 has been good for the Swiss squad – and can still yield its best championship position for some time.

“With four podium places and 116 world championship points, we can certainly be proud of our achievements as a private team,” Kaltenborn commented, “Of course, there have been races where things didn't go to plan and we forfeited valuable points, [but] the Sauber C31-Ferrari is a great success and has proved competitive on virtually any kind of circuit.

“Some describe it as one of the best cars on the grid, [but] now it's a matter of carrying that impetus forward into the remaining four races. Our ambitious goal remains to finish fifth in the constructors' world championship, and I have the utmost confidence, both in our team at Hinwil and in the crew at the track, along with our two drivers.”

Kobayashi, who could still find himself out of the running to retain his Sauber seat for 2013, provided the personal highlight of the season so far for Kaltenborn who, having taken off her 'sober, objective hat for a moment', admitted that it had been 'just so emotional when Kamui finished third in Japan'.

With Perez's move to McLaren next season having helped set off the annual drivers' 'merry-go-round', there are rumours that Sauber will replace its entire line-up by signing current reserve Esteban Gutierrez and Force India's Nico Hulkenberg to race contracts for 2013, but Kaltenborn refuses to be drawn on the identity of either driver, preferring to focus on the forthcoming Indian Grand Prix and the team's pursuit of Mercedes.

“I really have to distinguish between the professional and the private side,” the Indian-born Austrian admitted, “From the sports point of view, as far as the Sauber is concerned, the Indian GP is a race like any other, with the same meticulous preparations and the same aspiration to achieve the best possible result. From a personal point of view, it's rather different….




Related Pictures

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Grid girls
Colour
13.10.2012- Free Practice 3, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C31
20.04.2012-  Free Practice 2, Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), Chief Executive Officer, Sauber F1 Team
07.10.2012- Race, 3rd position Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31
13.05.2012- Race, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31 and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03
24.08.2014- Race, Peter Sauber (SUI), Sauber F1 Team motorhome
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 with Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
24.08.2014- Race, Press conference, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
24.08.2014- Race, 1st position Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB10, 2nd position Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and 3rd position Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW36 with Adrian Newey (GBR), Red Bull Racing , Technical Operations Director
24.08.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07 and Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03
24.08.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T
24.08.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
24.08.2014- Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 with punctured rear wheel.
24.08.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
24.08.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
24.08.2014- Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29
24.08.2014- Race, Kevin Magnussen (DEN) McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T

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bob - Unregistered

October 17, 2012 1:03 PM

Look, Mercedes are just about due to come good anyways. As someone else said, Hamilton is hardly going to join a true midfield team is he? Huge manufacturer, unlimited resources and top technical team who, assuming the new engine regs stand, will have an advantage over a lot of teams. But the absolute saddest and most terrifying thing is, if they do come good, the Hamilton fanboys will be claiming it's because Lewis has saved them. GOD HELP US ALL!

piercarlogassolini - Unregistered

October 17, 2012 1:58 PM

Bob, But that MAY be why Merc have gone for him - compare with Adrian Newey. everyone sees the difference he makes to a team, and he is rewarded and lauded accordingly. Likewise LH. Time will tell, but they may have spent, lets say, half a second a lap (over MS and NR)for a damned sight less effort than all the equivalent dev work they'd need to do. so the fanboys may have a point. The benchmark is NR. Wherever the Mercs are next year, if the NR/LH comparison is the same as the NR/MS comparison has been, its the car. If not, its the driver. IMO



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