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Sauber struggles due to 2013 development, not Ferrari engine

Aug 8, 2014, 1:00 PM EDT

Germany F1 GP Auto Racing AP

Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has said that the team is not pointing the finger at engine supplier Ferrari for its struggles in 2014, but admitted that there are no positives to be taken from the first half of the season.

The Swiss team has failed to score any points, marking its worst-ever start to a Formula 1 season. Drivers Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez have struggled with the C33 car, but when chances for points came about in Monaco and Hungary, mistakes were made and the opportunity passed.

2014 has been hailed as the year of the power unit, where the quality of the engine is the dominant factor. Ferrari’s unit is known to be down on power compared to that of Mercedes, but Kaltenborn is refusing to blame the Italian marque for Sauber’s struggles.

“It is one of the major factors, but I don’t think it is as easy as saying it is somebody else’s fault,” she explained to Formula1.com. “We always have to look at ourselves first and, being very honest about it, this car is definitely not one of the better cars that we’ve built.

“We have a very long lasting partnership with Ferrari and in all these years we’ve gone through good and not such good times, but you stick together and get through it.

“I am very sure that if I am unhappy and dissatisfied, then my colleagues at Ferrari have double that amount of frustration, so I don’t need to worry about that.”

Kaltenborn admitted in the interview that she could not take any positives out of Sauber’s start to the season, believing that the root of the problems came from the decision to continue development of the C32 in 2013.

“If you look at the performance itself – I think with all the optimism you can imagine, and I have a lot of optimism – I cannot see anything positive,” she conceded. “What I think we have to keep in mind is why we are where we are today.

“That goes back to last season where we took a decision to continue on that year’s car, knowing full well that this would mean taking a considerable risk on the new 2014 car, and the development of that car in light of the massive changes which were coming up.

“We took that decision and it turned out to be the right decision for last season, but we didn’t expect that we would be facing as many issues as we are now.”

  1. techmeister1 - Aug 8, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    Kaltenborn is a smart engineer and team manager, IMO. She is wise enough to understand the big picture and not point fingers at Ferrari or the drivers because they are not the primary problem, the car is. Even if the drivers or engine supplier were the issue it does absolutely no good to criticize them. Instead it’s far better to work together as a team to improve their lot.

    I believe that is what they are doing even if the pace is slow. As I have suggested several times, Dietrich Mateschitz would be wise to become a associate sponsor of Sauber for a couple years so they could get back towards the front of the grid then switch all Red Bull Sponsorship to Sauber as the primary F1 team and let the sewer rats fade away as they are terrible representatives for the brand with their chronic cheating.

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