Sauber team manager Beat Zehnder has hinted the struggling outfit is set for a 'brighter future' amidst rumours it could be in line to receive the investment it needs to stay in Formula 1.
Despite bouncing back from its first-ever 'point-less' campaign in 2014 with a competitive run to eighth in the constructors' standings last year, a dip in performance for the 2016 season has seen it rooted to the bottom of the table with Manor.
In a year that has seen Sauber miss deadlines to pay salaries, there are fears that one of the oldest-serving teams on the grid could be forced out of the sport if it cannot drum up more financial security.
However, Zehnder has hinted that salvation is on its way, confirming that salaries are being paid on time again, even if he refused to go into greater detail about why this was now possible.
“Paying salaries definitely helps for the atmosphere in the team! Paying the salaries, the outstanding salaries, is part of a comprehensive solution we were still working on but for any details you have to ask Monisha. Obviously there is a change in atmosphere because now everyone believes again that there is a future. The crucial thing so far was not to give up and I think we can be very proud of our team here on the track and at home that kept on pushing in our very limited areas.
“There was always light at the end of the tunnel – but as you know Switzerland has just opened the longest railway tunnel in the world – the light was always there, the tunnel was just massively long. The tunnel is getting shorter now.
Reflecting on the atmosphere within the beleaguered team, Zehnder admits it is frustrating to be held back financial frustrations, but emphasised there is hope.
“It's not always easy, it's for sure easier on the track because everyone who is here loves to do what they are doing, they love racing and so the motivation part on the race track is a simpler one than back home in the office.
“For the technical department, for the design office, sometimes it is quite frustrating, knowing you have things in the pipeline but you cannot bring it to the track because of financial reasons. But, as I say, there should be a brighter future.”