Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn is anticipating a much tougher midfield battle in Formula 1 next year, with Manor securing Mercedes power units and the new Haas F1 team with its strong Ferrari links.
The Swiss team has enjoyed a relative return to form in 2015 after an abysmal previous season in which it failed to score a single point and finished bottom of the pile. With eighth place in the F1 Constructors' championship close to being secured, ahead of the languishing McLaren and underpowered Manor, Kaltenborn says he is satisfied with her team's results this year.
However, Kaltenborn is already expecting a much trickier challenge in 2016 with Manor set to receive new Mercedes engine for next year while new Haas F1 team has outlined a strong partnership with Ferrari, the engine manufacturer Sauber receives its power units from.
“I am, in principle, happy because we have, in many ways, come back to where we usually are, but I think there is more potential there which we have to utilise next year, so I'm not totally happy,” Kaltenborn said.
“We have Manor coming in with a new [engine] tie-up, and we have a new team coming in which, we learned from the media, has had intensive co-operation with another team, so it's going to be very tough to score a point. I think you'll really have to do that on your own because a lot will have to go wrong [for others] for you to be there and score a point.”