Alfa Romeo Sauber’s new technical director Simone Resta says one of his major objectives is to increase its work force by a third in its overall push up the Formula 1 grid.

The Swiss team has produced a steady turnaround in fortunes in 2018 having finished a lowly 10th in the F1 world constructors’ championship in three of the past four seasons.

Having been pushed to the edge of financial breakdown before a buyout by Longbow Finance S.A midway through 2016, Sauber struck a technical partnership with Ferrari’s sister brand Alfa Romeo last winter after ditching an agreement in principle with Honda during the previous season.

Resta, who made one of his first media appearances in his new Sauber role as technical director after starting on July 1st at the German Grand Prix, says he’s been impressed by the team’s efforts after a difficult few years and is eager to maintain the upward trend with a rapid expansion in its technical ranks.

“The plan is to increase, in terms of size of the team and number of employees,” Resta said. “We are over 400 and the plan is to increase it by a third. We need to keep growing to increase and also with more manpower.

“Every place is different and every place needs something different. I hope with my experience I can contribute to the team and I am still learning the environment, the colleagues and the processes.

“The objectives are challenging as you would always like to be a points finisher and to do another step compared to this year. Now we are stable in the midfield.”

With Sauber’s recent resurgence, the team’s chairman Pascal Picci feels aiming to be the best of the F1 midfield is a realistic goal from as early as next season, Resta is confident ‘the foundations are there’ at the Swiss squad to maintain its momentum from the start of 2018.

Sauber has claimed points finishes from seven of the opening 11 F1 rounds this year with Marcus Ericsson's ninth place in Hockenheim closing the gap down to just two points to eighth-place Toro Rosso Honda in the teams' standings.

“I believe the team has shown a very strong recovery and improvement this year so I think it shows that the foundations are there and the competition is there,” he said.

“The team is growing in terms of size and the technical grounding is good, there are good facilities as an independent team with a good technical background. I think there are all the ingredients to have a step forward.”

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