Sauber lament lack of sponsors to keep them at the top

R-L: Sergio Perez (MEX); Kamui Kobayashi (JPN); Peter Sauber (SUI) Team Principal; Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT) Sauber Chief Executive Officer; Alex Sauber (SUI) Sauber Marketing Manager; Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Test and Reserve Driver, with the Sauber C31. Sauber C31 Studio Images, Hinwil, Switzerland, 6 February 2012.

Monisha Kaltenborn with the Sauber line-up

Apr.5 (GMM) Sauber is in a race for money after realising that it’s 2012 car is up to speed with F1’s richest teams, but admit that a shortage on the sponsorship front could hamper further progress.

As ever in F1, world championships are won not on the basis of a clever initial design, but on a team’s ability to continue to develop it throughout a season.

According to O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, the Sauber team’s chief executive Monisha Kaltenborn admits that the Hinwil based outfit cannot compete on that front with the likes of McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull.

“It’s a shame,” she is quoted as saying.

“I hope we can show enough potential so that some companies decide to invest in our project,” said Kaltenborn, with the Brazilian newspaper estimating that Sauber’s budget is EUR 80 million this year.

In contrast, the top four teams’ budgets are believed to be above EUR 220m.

Kaltenborn told F1’s official website recently that Sauber would back a push to impose a budget cap – an issue that triggered the big teams’ bitter political war with former FIA president Max Mosley a few years ago.

“We … have also openly said that we are not satisfied with our sponsor situation because we have high targets and to achieve them you need appropriate funding,” she continued.

“We still need to work on that side of things, as of course the more funding you have the more you can develop – and it shows on the track.

“I have said before that when we look back we practically never had enough money to do what we really wanted to. The question is always how big the gap is – sometimes it is bigger, sometimes it is smaller.”

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