Sauber confident of major gains in second half of season

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The first half of 2013 has been a major disappointment for Sauber. Nine races in they’ve got just seven points on the board whereas last year they had 60 by this point.

But the team which recently announced major new backing from Russia is confident of turning its form around as F1 reaches the halfway point in the season.

Nico Hulkenberg has finished in the points during the last two races as the team begins to solve problems with its C32. One of the keys to that has been adopting a new set-up which was being used by Esteban Gutierrez.

Sauber also expects the forthcoming switch back to 2012-style tires to play into its hands.

“It is important to know that we are now in a position where we can fight with other cars, we can keep up with them and overtake them,” team principal Monisha Kaltenborn told Autosport.

“That is what we need to take forward – because that gives us the confidence that we have understood the issues, and we have implemented small steps.”

Kaltenborn said the change in tires was “more into a direction we know”. The team finished on the podium four times last year but its best result so far this season has been a single eighth pace for Hulkenberg.

Takuma Sato’s likeness revealed on Borg-Warner Trophy (PHOTOS)

Photos; Walt Kuhn
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INDIANAPOLIS – Rather than the traditional December unveil, this year’s reveal newest likeness added to the Borg-Warner Trophy came Tuesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Takuma Sato got to see the result of the sculpting done by William Behrends and then turned from wax, clay and ceramic into sterling silver on Tuesday evening, as the winner of the 101st Indianapolis 500 presented by PennGrade Motor Oil saw his face revealed on the trophy.

Sato took the No. 26 Ruoff Home Mortgage Honda for Andretti Autosport to the win in thrilling fashion this year over Helio Castroneves, denying the Brazilian his fourth Indianapolis 500 victory in the process. It atoned for his near-miss in 2012, driving for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, the team he’ll return to in 2018.

It’s been a whirlwind last week-plus for Sato, doing the podium interviews at the Japanese Grand Prix, reflecting on his Indianapolis 500 triumph, then sharing the victory spoils with another Japanese pilot in Yoshihide Muroya, who won the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at Indianapolis this weekend.

Photos of Sato’s face on the most unique trophy in sports are below. This post will be updated following tonight’s full unveil. (All photos: Walt Kuhn)