Sauber Not Worried About 2013 Line-Up

In a season where the levels of unpredictability have been high, F1’s usual midfield runners Sauber have enjoyed a fast car, quick drivers and a good return in the points table for the Constructor’s Championship. The team sits in sixth position in the battle for team placings, 27 points ahead of seventh-placed Williams, who, unlike Sauber, have a victory to their name in 2012 following Pastor Maldonado’s surprise race win at the Spanish Grand Prix in May.

CEO of the team, Monika Kalternborn, has stated that in the current time-frame of contracts close to expiration, the Swiss-based team have no major concerns over next season’s line-up.

“We are not worried. And we are in the middle of a season that hopefully will be a successful one for us – at least all indications point in that direction – and our drivers have to focus solely on this season. Regarding the future, we are not under pressure and I am laid back about it.”

Peter Sauber is a familiar smoking face in the sport

Sauber started in 1991 and have been a privately-run team for most of their existance. Team boss Peter Sauber is notorious for his love of cigars but his team failed to light up the grid during the independent years, with their  sole race victory  and pole position being achieved during the years of ownership by German car manufacturer BMW between the years of 2006 and 2009. After BMW’s withdrawal from the sport, Peter Sauber stepped in and re-bought ownership of the team after the end of the 2009 season and the team continues to run both under the Sauber name and ownership.

Whilst Kobayashi is closely matched in qualifying performances to his team-mate, his race perfomances have not always been as high as that of Perez, with the Mexican coming so close to a first race win in Malaysia and also finishing on the podium twice this season However, Monika Kalternborn mantains that Kobayashi has been unfortunate with car troubles, troubles which Perez has not been as affected by:

“I am not sure if it is really the case that his performance is dipping against Sergio. I think that the results do not show the whole picture. Kamui has shown good performances, but yes, he was a bit struck by misfortune.

“Twice in qualifying there were some hiccups with the car – only his car – and on the other hand the very risky strategy Sergio was running on in Malaysia bore fruits and catapulted him into the spotlight.

“So I would say that some factors played for Sergio – and some simply didn’t work out for Kamui. But as we still have half the season to go, Kamui can go out and copy Sergio.”

Both drivers have fitted in well at the Hinwill-based team

The driver line-up of the Mexican Perez and Japanese Kobayashi both hold inexperience, with neither man possessing more than three seasons each in the top flight of motorsport, but both also have shown displays of maturity and speed to deliver good results for the team. Perez’ high ability in tyre management, along with Kobayashi’s spectator-friendly style, have been paying off in some substance.

Speaking of how easy both men are to work with, Kalternborn concluded that both are very much team players and that overall at the mid-point in the season, both drivers have done a good job:

“I would put on record that both show a good development curve. Never forget Kamui is in only his third season, and Sergio only his second.

They have established a good communication line to their engineers and to the whole team, and are always very welcome in the factory as their input is held in high regard.

“I also think that both are behaving well. Of course tempers can sometimes run a little wild, but that’s because they are young. So the interim report reads ‘satisfactory’.”

Perez has had podiums this season in Canada and in Malaysia, where he finished in a career-best second place

The team’s placing in the Constructor’s Championship is a solid sixth and present and if they maintain the levels of performance they have so far delivered, could very well hold on or perhaps even improve on their position. Though they are some way off of repeating their best-ever position of 4th which was achieved in 2001, sixth would be a good year for the team which are so often seen as just another name on the grid.

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