Sauber "outdeveloping" even F1's top teams - Force India

Racing Point Force India team principal Otmar Szafnauer says midfield rival Sauber has “outdeveloped the top teams” with the leap it's made from its 2017 car to the current C37 challenger.

Sauber "outdeveloping" even F1's top teams - Force India

Sauber propped up the constructors' standings last year, scoring just five points to nearest rival McLaren's 30 as it struggled with a year-old Ferrari power unit.

Having switched to a current-spec engine, the team was once again slowest in the 2018 season opener in Melbourne – but the C37 blossomed into a midfield regular and an occasional Q3 threat as the campaign wore on.

Asked by Motorsport.com for his take on Sauber's recent progress, Szafnauer said: “I don’t know how they had such a steep development curve.

“I think they outdeveloped the top teams this year from last year. From where they ended last year to where they are now, they outdeveloped everybody.

“I don’t know how that happens with a small team, but we’re got to figure that out, because they’re smart guys.”

Sauber's progress has convinced former F1 champion Kimi Raikkonen to return to the team on a two-year deal after losing his Ferrari seat, with the Finn joined by Ferrari protege Antonio Giovinazzi in 2019.

The Swiss outfit sits eighth in the teams' standings with two races left, and will record its best points tally for the season since 2013 should it score a top-10 finish in Brazil or Abu Dhabi.

Read Also:

Szafnauer reckoned Sauber's 2019 campaign could “maybe” suffer if the team over-committed resources to the in-season development of the C37.

“I don’t know when they stopped developing this year’s car, because we stopped quite a long time ago to focus on next year,” he said.

“If they continued developing this year’s car in areas that don’t translate to next year, then it can hurt them.

“If it translates, if what you learned this year works next year too, than it doesn’t hurt. They can apply it.

“But I am impressed with their development rate, very, very impressive.”

Team boss Frederic Vasseur has previously claimed that Sauber was to cease 2018 development at the end of July.

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37, leads Sergio Perez, Racing Point Force India VJM11

Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37, leads Sergio Perez, Racing Point Force India VJM11

Photo by: Andy Hone / LAT Images

shares
comments
Red Bull's supplier labels F1 oil burn process "backwards"

Previous article

Red Bull's supplier labels F1 oil burn process "backwards"

Next article

Russell made "PowerPoint presentation" in Williams 2018 bid

Russell made "PowerPoint presentation" in Williams 2018 bid
Load comments
How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve Prime

How "overwhelming" McLaren move has given Ricciardo a new verve

Daniel Ricciardo has found a new lease of life at McLaren – a move that’s been years in the making, as he explains to STUART CODLING…

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams Prime

How 2021's midfielders have taken lessons from F1's top teams

Formula 1’s latest Imola adventure turned into an expensive trip for many teams due to several crashes throughout the weekend. While balancing the books is an added factor in 2021 with the cost cap, a few midfield teams have cashed in early on development investments.

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Driver Ratings

A frantic wet race at Imola produced plenty of excitement and drama as drivers scrabbled for grip. Amid the hatful of mistakes and incidents that ensued, who kept their noses cleanest?

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves Prime

How the Emilia Romagna GP result hinged on three crucial saves

Rain before the start of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix promised to spice up the action, and the race certainly delivered on that. Max Verstappen got the best launch to win from Lewis Hamilton, but both got away with mistakes that could have had serious consequences

Formula 1
Apr 19, 2021
The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era Prime

The back-bedroom world-beater that began a new F1 era

The first in a line of world beaters was designed in a back bedroom and then constructed in a shed. STUART CODLING recalls the Tyrrell 001

Formula 1
Apr 18, 2021
Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola Prime

Why Mercedes isn't confident it's really ahead of Red Bull at Imola

While Mercedes struck back against Red Bull by topping the times at Imola on Friday ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the overall picture remains incredibly close. Despite having a possible edge this weekend, the reigning Formula 1 world champion squad is not taking anything for granted...

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Prime

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping .

Formula 1
Apr 16, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Prime

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is no guarantee.

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021