Problems in Sauber seem to continue as the Swiss team struggle with finances, loss of personnel, and lack of test drivers. In fact, the team has revealed it will be unable to participate in the first in-season testing in Barcelona this month.
The first in-season test in Barcelona is set to take place immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix race weekend. For this, each team is required to allocate at least two of its four in-season test days to train young drivers. The problem is, Sauber doesn’t have any at the moment. This is what the Swiss F1 team confirmed via Twitter recently.
The team members said that they currently don’t have a young driver that “fulfills the requirements.” Meanwhile, Sauber decided not to participate in the testing since it doesn’t have new car updates to test this time around. Sauber currently ranks 9th in the constructor standings. It is one of the two teams that has yet to score points this season, the other being Manor.
Sauber has always been open about its financial woes. In fact, according to a report from Fox Sports, team boss Monisha Kaltenborn admitted she has been missing races this season since she had been trying to secure the long-term future of the team.
At the same time, Sauber manager Beat Zehnder admitted their small team is struggling to find enough money to cover all its expenses. “An annual budget this year is a massive one and to cover it by sponsors and the income from Bernie [Ecclestone] is just not sufficient at the moment. The financial impact is massive and for a small team like Sauber, it’s really difficult,” he explained.
To make matters worse, the team has lost a number of key personnel as of late. According to a report from BBC, Sauber had lost its technical director Mark Smith in March and head of track engineering Tim Malyon in April. Both were said to have left the team for personal reasons.
The team, however, continues to be optimistic about their future in F1. Zehnder even remarked, “We have financial difficulties, it’s not a secret, but the good thing is we are still around. We’re working hard to solve all the problems, but it’s not easy.”
Today, Kaltenborn continues to deny that the Sauber will be going away in the middle of the season.