Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn insisted that the Swiss-based outfit can be proud of its achievements in the 2012 F1 season despite failing to beat Merceded to fifth place in the constructors' championship.
Having closed on its rivals in the second half of the year, Sauber went into the Brazilian finale with a chance of stealing fifth place but was instead outscored after Michael Schumacher was able to finish ahead of Kamui Kobabayashi in the race.
While that meant Sauber had to settle for sixth place, there was still a noticeable improvement in results during the 2012 campaign, with Kobayashi's emotional home podium at Suzuka and three podiums for Sergio Perez helping the team to comprehensively beat its points tally from the 2011 season.
It was that fact that Kaltenborn insisted the team had to focus on after a downbeat end to the year on track as the team said farewell to both Perez and Kobayashi on their final appearances.
“It was a thrilling final race of the season which didn't exactly deliver the result we hoped for,” she admitted. “Sergio was pushed out of the race on lap one through no fault of his own, and Kamui showed once again what a great fighter he is. Unfortunately we couldn't convert that into a better result.
“For our team the Brazilian Grand Prix marks the end of a thrilling and spectacular season. Obviously at this moment we are disappointed we didn't manage to clinch fifth place in the constructors' championship. However, when we stand back we can be proud of what we've achieved this year. We got four podiums and a total of 126 championship points. This is 82 more than last season, which is an impressive improvement.
“Of course we know that with a little more consistency we could have scored even more points. That's something we will be working on for next season.
“The race in Interlagos was also the last one with our two drivers, Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez, to whom I would like to express my sincere thanks for their great contribution. Sergio will have the chance to show his great talent at the McLaren-Mercedes team, and to Kamui we wish him all the best and that he will have a successful future in motor racing.”