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Sauber confident of major gains in second half of season

Jul 17, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

AUTO-PRIX-AUS-F1-PRACTICE

The first half of 2013 has been a major disappointment for Sauber. Nine races in they’ve got just seven points on the board whereas last year they had 60 by this point.

But the team which recently announced major new backing from Russia is confident of turning its form around as F1 reaches the halfway point in the season.

Nico Hulkenberg has finished in the points during the last two races as the team begins to solve problems with its C32. One of the keys to that has been adopting a new set-up which was being used by Esteban Gutierrez.

Sauber also expects the forthcoming switch back to 2012-style tires to play into its hands.

“It is important to know that we are now in a position where we can fight with other cars, we can keep up with them and overtake them,” team principal Monisha Kaltenborn told Autosport.

“That is what we need to take forward – because that gives us the confidence that we have understood the issues, and we have implemented small steps.”

Kaltenborn said the change in tires was “more into a direction we know”. The team finished on the podium four times last year but its best result so far this season has been a single eighth pace for Hulkenberg.

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