Great business – shame about the team
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.