Sauber is confident it will enjoy similar improvements Ferrari has produced in a trickle-down effect but says it will not increase its working relationship with the Italian manufacturer.
Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn says the team will take a 'step-by-step' approach when it receives the new Ferrari power units for 2016 and fully expects the rate of improvement to be similar to the gains the factory squad has made this season.
“I think they have shown already this year what a step they took, and you can't expect miracles because the gap was so big that you just go step-by-step,” Kaltenborn said. “You have to look at the reliability of what you are doing but they have done a very good job and I have every reason to have belief that they are going to take the next step.”
In 2010, Sauber switched from BMW to Ferrari as engine supplier but in the first year of the new V6 turbocharged hybrid power units in 2014 the team suffered its worst-ever season in Formula 1, finishing 10th in the Constructors' championship without scoring a single point.
This season the Swiss-based squad has seen a relative return to form and sit eighth in the F1 Constructors' standings, albeit only ahead of Manor who are using the 2014 Ferrari engines and McLaren with its underperforming Honda power unit.
Quizzed on whether Sauber needs to strength ties with Ferrari in a similar fashion to the new Haas F1 team, Kaltenborn says despite its contrasting performances in recent years only small tweaks are needed to its working relationship.
“I think we have, here and there, some co-operation which we will continue to do,” she said. “For us, there is no need to change something in a partnership which goes back more than ten years. It's been working fine, we've had our ups and downs, but it is a good working relationship.”