Lack of Budget Hurting Sauber

Peter Sauber believes the lack of funds is to blame for his team's lack of competitiveness this season

Lack of Budget Hurting Sauber

Speaking to Autosprint magazine, the Swiss team principal has vowed to do their best to get close to the Red Bull team, but has claimed catching up with the rest of the field will be impossible.

Sauber finished in sixth place in the Constructors' Championship last season, ahead of both Toyota and the former Jaguar squad. This year, however, both teams have taken a step forward and Sauber have been left behind.

The Hinwil-based squad are currently in seventh position, 12 points behind Red Bull, who took over from Jaguar, while Toyota have gone to fight regularly for the podium positions.

Sauber has admitted his team's lack of budget is making it impossible for them to catch up, especially after the exit of Red Bull as one of his team's main sponsors.

"At the end of 2004 we had a fine car and the move to Michelin tyres was another step forward. The entire team was convinced we were starting from a high level, but it wasn't so," said Sauber. "We were in front of Toyota and Jaguar and they have overtaken us.

"We'll try to catch up with Red Bull at least, but with Toyota it's impossible. The regulations have changed greatly with regards to aerodynamics, which today is the most important thing on a car. We knew even before starting testing that we didn't have enough downforce.

"Today we are working intensively to recuperate this load, as we are sure that the general concept of the car is fine. But the downforce can be found by working on the details, and we can't accelerate this development, because the budget isn't big enough.

"We've always had limited resources, and the problem widened after our partner Red Bull left us. The team is as big as before, but we need to save on engines and we don't work as much as we'd like neither in the wind tunnel nor in testing on the track."

The team invested in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel, but Sauber says the $50 million facility is currently not being used efficiently enough to pay dividends.

"It's very good, but we don't have the resources to use it full time: our people work over one shift instead of three," Sauber added. "Many asked us to use it, but we would need to also put our personnel at their disposal.

"And you can't ask people working ten hours a day to do more."

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Series Formula 1
Teams Sauber
Author Michele Lostia
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