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F1 NEWS 

Sauber upbeat over 2011 budget

Peter SauberPeter Sauber is confident his team will have increased financial backing to continue making progress next year.

The Swiss squad has been mainly sponsor-less during the 2010 season after Sauber retook control of the team following BMW's exit from the sport at the end of last year.

Sauber says he is optimistic the team will have more partners next year, with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim's Telmex company having been rumoured to be interested in a deal with the Hinwil outfit.

"I believe that we will be at a competitive level," Sauber told this week's AUTOSPORT magazine. "There is a good possibility for new partners and we are working very hard on that.

"We're sure we will have more colour on the car next year. I don't know what basic colour - it depends on the sponsor."

Sauber, whose team has scored 23 points so far this year, is also confident of more on-track progress in 2011, despite not having the same kind of budget as some of its rivals.

"We will get closer to the other teams," he said. "We are already close to Williams, sometimes behind, sometimes in front, and it's the same with Mercedes.

"That clearly shows that it's possible with limited budget to go forward. The lap times are on a very good level."

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