Sauber Formula 1 team principal Monisha Kaltenborn is confident the ongoing financial problems hampering the marque’s progress will soon be resolved.
The 2016 F1 campaign has been a troubled one so far for Sauber, with initial delays in the introduction of the C35, staff salaries paid late for the past three months, and a lack of updates to the car resulting in the team missing the in-season test at Barcelona.
Talks have been taking place behind the scenes for months now with potential investors and sponsors, and Kaltenborn believes there is hope on the horizon.
“We’ve been making progress – we’ve had to because stagnating is no option, and we hope it will show soon,” Kaltenborn said.
“There is obviously some frustration around at the moment, but if we had the financing and we were still where we are then that would probably be more frustrating. So it does give you… I don’t know the word for it, but it’s not comfort, for sure.
“But when you know you have these things coming in, and you can’t implement them, then it is frustrating and it takes a lot of patience. So you need to continue to focus on what you are doing, to just bear with it.”
Asked whether she was confident of something materializing that would help the team this season, Kaltenborn said: “Yes, it will.”
As to why the situation was taking so long to resolve, she replied: “It is not long. If you look at other deals we’ve had before, such as when BMW bought into the team, you have no idea how long that went on. bNobody knew until the end, so from that perspective we are actually moving quite fast, but things take their time and you just can’t push it.”
Suggested to Kaltenborn the upgrade package currently on the shelf was significant and would improve the fortunes of the team, she replied: “Yes – and it has to.”
PARTS ARE “IN THE LOOP” – ERICSSON
Driver Marcus Ericsson feels the car is in need of “a new aerodynamic package”, but recognizes the team’s financial impasse is holding it back.
“The wings and floor are the same as what we had in testing, and it’s very similar to what we had at the end of last year,” said Ericsson. “I know we have them in the loop to go on the car somewhere soon, but how soon is difficult to say. It’s something we need as soon as possible to be more competitive.”
Explaining what he means by “in the loop,” Ericsson added: “They’re being worked on, but they’re not coming to the track any time soon I would say. They’re more in the design process.”
Kaltenborn added: “The car is where it is, but the base is definitely not bad. We just need to bring the parts in, which we have in the pipeline.”