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Sauber still pushing despite problems

Sauber is looking for an improvement ahead of the summer break, after suffering a sorry start to 2013.
Sauber is continuing to push for improvements in performance despite recent revelations that it was struggling financially.

Nico Hulkenberg's tenth place at Silverstone was a major morale boost to the Swiss outfit, which has struggled to repeat the feats of 2012, where Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi secured four podium finishes and the team finished sixth overall in the standings. With an all-new line-up, Sauber has managed just six points in 2013, and currently sits eighth overall, trailing next best Toro Rosso by 18.

Amid rumours that drivers and suppliers alike have not been paid recently, head of track engineering Tom McCullough found himself facing questions about the team's drop-off in performance.

“Well, obviously, last year, we started the year very strongly, scored a lot of points at the start of the season and, moving to the end of the year, we weren't quite as competitive on a regular basis,” he reflected, “The start of this season has moved us a couple of positions [down] in the team ranking from a competitiveness point of view and that very quickly drops you out of the points.

“So, as opposed to fighting in the points, you're just dropping out of the points. We're working very hard with the car to improve it to try to get back into the points-scoring positions on a more regular basis.”

Admitting that there are always limitations on how much work and progress that can be made, McCullough revealed that the team hopes to take a step forward ahead of the summer break.

“You always have to work within your budgets, from a technical point of view, where you're pushing very hard on the correlation side to understand the car as well as we can do,” he conceded, “We have an update package coming for the next race, which we'll be evaluating at the next test, so we're still pushing very hard – and, obviously, the more you can push the better.”

Friday free practice at the Nurburgring provided another minor boost for the team, as Hulkenberg and rookie team-mate Esteban Gutierrez were able to run through the planned programme in dry conditions and without any issues.

“The drivers were pretty happy with the car initially, and we explored some different set-ups today,” McCullough concluded, “We still have some work to do on the low fuel pace, but the higher fuel long runs were pretty strong. Now we have to look at our data tonight to give ourselves the best car for FP3.”



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
05.07.2013- Free Practice 1, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
05.07.2013- Free Practice 1, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
05.07.2013- Free Practice 1, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
05.07.2013- Free Practice 1, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
21.09.2014 - Race, Celebration, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 is applauded by his team
21.09.2014 - Race, Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR03 leads Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C33
21.09.2014 - Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C33, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari F14-T and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
21.09.2014 - Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM07
21.09.2014 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
21.09.2014 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 starts the race from the pit lane
21.09.2014 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 stopped in the grid
21.09.2014 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 stopped in the grid
21.09.2014 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 watches the race from the pit lane
21.09.2014 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 watches the race from the pit lane
21.09.2014 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 watches the race from the pit lane
21.09.2014 - Race, Adrian Sutil (GER) Sauber F1 Team C33 retires from the race
21.09.2014 - Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C33
21.09.2014 - Race, Max Chilton (GBR), Marussia F1 Team MR03 leads Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05

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LJ

July 08, 2013 2:19 AM

It's really simple.. As Amigo said, they should be ahead of STR if they had atleast retained one driver from last year. Lack of continuuity means they have no real idea how this car compares to last years and where they've gone wrong. I'm not sure why they signed Hulkenberg, unless there was some financial benefit or backroom deal with Ferrari. Because despite the media love over Hulkenberg, he isn't miles ahead of Kobayashi. I can understand why they brought Gutierrez in considering they're struggling for money, but I still think they made a mistake as he lacks the development/maturity to help Sauber in the championship.



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