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.

Ken Roczen signs with HEP Progressive Ecstar Suzuki for 2023

Roczen Progressive Ecstar Suzuki
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ANAHEIM, California – Ken Roczen will make the move from HRC Honda to H.E.P. Motorsports with the Progressive Ecstar Suzuki team, ending a long and eventful offseason that saw his split from his longstanding team after he committed to running World Supercross (WSX).

“H.E.P. Motorsports is thrilled to announce that the team has signed Ken Roczen as its premier rider for the 2023 season,” the team announced on Instagram. “Former AMA Motocross champion Roczen will be aboard a Suzuki RM-Z450. Roczen, who won his most recent championship on a Suzuki, will be reunited with the brand and bring his exciting style, determination, and grit back to the RM Army.

“Ken Roczen will compete in the upcoming 2023 Supercross and Motocross Championship series which is set to start on January 7 at Anaheim Stadium in Southern California.”

For Roczen, it is a return to the bike of his youth and on which he had some of his greatest professional success.

“This thing has been going on for weeks and weeks and weeks in the making, but there was so much uncertainty,” Roczen told NBC Sports during Monster Energy Supercross Media Sessions. “It was a very unique situation. I just finally signed two nights ago, so it’s really only legit once the ink hits the paper. It’s been in the works for a long time, but there were just a lot of questions and a lot of input from a lot of other teams too.

“Good things take time, and I’m okay with that. I grew up riding Suzuki. Ot’s like a homecoming. It’s a special feeling”

Roczen won the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship on a Suzuki before making the move to Honda. That year he won nine of 12 Nationals and finished no worse than second as he easily outpaced Eli Tomac by 86 points. He finished third in his next Pro Motocross outing in 2018 after sitting out the outdoor season in 2017.

“I am beyond excited to reconnect with Suzuki for the 3rd time in my career. We’ve had a lot of success in the past and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together in our future.” Roczen said in the Instagram post.