Season Preview: Sauber
Sauber are a mighty fine place to start for our mini series of team previous before a single wheel has turned in anger. I don’t know many fans who don’t have a soft spot for this plucky team.
Drivers Ericsson and Wehrlein are still relative new-comers, with only a handful of seasons between them, but they have both shown enough over their time to earn these drives. Ericsson seems solid most races and is more than capable of picking up points. As soon as Wehrlein is fit to race, he will have the bit between his teeth in a bid to prove to Mercedes that he deserves a seat in the top team next year.
Finances have always been an issue and that hampered development for the last few years, but now that Longbow Finance have taken over and Pascal Picci is chairman, we hope there will be funds to spend later on in the year. Indeed they seem to be getting new sponsors, unlike McLaren who are losing sponsors and personnel.
But this isn’t when we think Sauber will have the best chance of scoring points. We saw early season form from Haas and Roman Grosjean last season, and this might be Sauber’s greatest hope. IF and only if a few of the better funded teams have interpreted the rules differently and Sauber have gone the right way, they could be easily mid-pack early on. pushing for points in Australia would be brilliant for the team who need all the points they can get.
With Kaltenborn at the head of the race team, they will always be motivated and striving to achieve above their financial position. The team may not be very big, but they have the drive and the heart to achieve more than their balance sheet should allow.
Still, we don’t really envisage them sailing high up the table, probably 10th.
Especially when they already admit to aiming for 2018.