Great busi­ness – shame about the team

F1 Racing - - IN­SIDER -

Sauber still have some very good peo­ple, two quick driv­ers and a bril­liant aero depart­ment run by Willem Toet. Yet it just isn’t hap­pen­ing for them.

Part of the prob­lem, I think, is that the team are run by a lawyer, Mon­isha Kal­tenborn, along the lines of a ‘suc­cess­ful com­pany’ rather than an on-the-edge, driven-by-pas­sion rac­ing team. It may make short-term com­mer­cial sense to farm out your wind­tun­nel – and its op­er­at­ing team – to LMP1/2 teams, a ri­val F1 team and the odd car com­pany or two – and for the aero depart­ment thus to be­come a very prof­itable divi­sion within the losses of the com­pany as a whole. But, ul­ti­mately, it comes down to ques­tion­ing what an F1 team is all about.

So. What’s to be done? I’d still pur­sue the Mex­i­can con­nec­tion with Es­te­ban Gu­tiér­rez. He’s driven well this year, no­tably at Monaco be­fore he clipped an apex bar­rier, and he has the brains and the per­son­al­ity to be more than just a rac­ing driver.

I also like Sauber’s ap­proach to Si­mona De Sil­ve­stro. She has been obliged to nd the money in or­der to test – but at least the team have em­braced her po­ten­tial – and she, quite ob­vi­ously, is both fast and bright. She could be a mas­sive F1 as­set if col­lec­tively the money could be raised. Adrian Su­til, in the mean­time, seems to be about the driver he’s al­ways been: he’s quick; his cor­ners are gen­er­ally nice and short; but there are too many small mis­takes out there.

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