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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
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
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren MCL32 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C36
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, 1st place Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13, 2nd place Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40

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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!


October 18, 2012 7:40 AM
Last Edited 402 days ago

@elijah What exactly is the gamble Lewis has made when none of the current top teams wanted him? McLaren announced the Perez signing immediately after Lewis and Mercedes went public. Such a contract isn't negotiated and put together over a lunch break, it takes at least a few weeks. Even if it is a rookie driver joining a top team. Despite what has been reported to the public and their(Merc. McL. Ham.)official story, it is not hard to understand that he was pushed out and decided to take the best offer he could get from any team. The only one who has made a gamble is Mercedes by signing him. I don't blame them though, they needed a driver since Schumacher most probably wasn't going to extend. With Lewis they will get a proven pretty fast driver when he is at his best. Lets just hope for their sake that Lewis personal life will not affect his professionalism too much as it has done in the past. I am switching my Mercedes cap for a McLaren cap(or maybe Lotus) next year..

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