Pedro de la Rosa

A bit of tough love from team boss Peter Sauber!

Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa won’t be too pleased to have this kind of summary of their performance thus far, but Peter Sauber has laid a portion of the blame for Sauber’s lack of competitiveness in 2010 at their feet.

In the aftermath of former owner BMW’s withdrawal at the end of the 2009 season, this year’s Ferrari-powered C29 showed promising pace in testing, which has mysteriously evaporated in the opening three rounds of the championship season. Sauber is the only one of the established teams not to have scored a championship point so far.

Speaking with Formula 1’s official site, Sauber has confirmed what we all suspected by admitting that the cars were run with less fuel than their competitors during pre-season testing, but also acknowledged that the off-season uncertainty in securing a buyer, on top of the budget cutbacks that have been necessitated, would also have had an impact.

But Sauber also added: “I am convinced that the fact that both our drivers are new in the team plays a certain role."

Ouch! Not exactly the sort of performance appraisal you’d like to have!

"The communication and cooperation between the drivers and engineers at the moment is not where it ideally should be. That is not a criticism, just a sort of diagnosis."

Sauber would not be drawn on the wisdom of signing McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa, 39, alongside the feisty 23-year-old Kamui Kobayashi.

"I do not want to touch on the issue of the drivers as it would be inappropriate. I took this driver lineup decision, and the considerations that led to the decision are still valid.

"What we probably underestimated is the time it would take for the drivers’ familiarisation. Pedro, after many years as a test driver, is now back racing and that acclimatisation process is probably more challenging than we anticipated," he concluded.

[Original image via GP Update]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.