Sauber F1 team surprised by delays that led to late staff payments

Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn says the circumstances that created winter financial trouble for her Formula 1 team caught the squad by surprise

Sauber F1 team surprised by delays that led to late staff payments

Cashflow problems forced the Swiss team to pay its staff's February salaries late and in two parts.

This followed a request to Bernie Ecclestone for advanced payment of commercial income, made along with Force India and Manor.

Kaltenborn would not comment directly on the current financial state of her team, but she said there would not likely be any further wage delays in the future.

"What happened with us was very unfortunate - the way things came together and the timing particularly, which took us by surprise," Kaltenborn said.

"We all know that the first three to four months are the most cost-intensive, where you have to have your car ready to hit the road.

"That's the system we all opted for many years ago when we said that FOM money kicks in later. That's something we all wanted.

"Referring to the delay [with wages], it was to be precise one delay, which was very regrettable from our side.

"It was just an unfortunate set of circumstances coming together at the time they came together. This should not happen anymore."

Kaltenborn said the continuing difficulties faced by independent teams are a sign "something is fundamentally wrong with the sport".

"This has got nothing to do with the product; these are commercial matters," she added.

"Some of them are the result of the technical regulations at the moment and it's high time something is done about it.

"If you try to explain to people out there the kind of income the sport generates - and it has year by year gone up if you look at the last few years - yet so many teams are having issues this can't be right."

STILL ASSESSING TECHNICAL FALLOUT

Sauber recently lost its technical director, when Mark Smith decided to return to the UK for what the team described as "personal reasons".

Kaltenborn said the team was still working out whether to replace him or alter the technical structure to compensate for his departure.

"The reason Mark left is clear and has been communicated. This has nothing to do with where the team is," Kaltenborn said.

"For his personal reasons he's gone back to England - there's nothing more to say to that.

"You always then have to adapt somehow, and yes if we can't do things that way we have to find another.

"That is not that big an issue for us, because for a long time we did not have a technical director.

"Historically we've had very strong heads of departments, so we will adapt to it but we will have to change some of our ways because clearly we had set on a different strategy.

"We're assessing that still. We'll have a solution soon and will announce that."

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