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.
SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.
Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.
Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.
Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.
Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.
With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.
Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.
Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.
GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.