The Swiss 66-year-old reclaimed the reins as Team Principal in the wake of BMW’s shock withdrawal from the sport, but he does not run the day-to-day operations of his outfit at its Hinwil HQ.
That role is handled by Monisha Kaltenborn (the team’s Managing Director), with Herr Sauber only assuming responsibility of the team during Grand Prix weekends and test sessions.
Despite positive pre-season testing form – which many attributed, and the team reluctantly confirmed, as being partially due to light fuel loads – the C29 has proven both uncompetitive and unreliable this season. Aside from all three rookie teams, it is the only one of the established outfits yet to trouble the scorers in the Championship Standings.
The team is also hindered by a lack of finance and sponsors, as its plan livery attests. Despite this, Sauber appointed the talented Force India Technical Director, James Key, to the post vacated by the retiring and long-standing Willi Rampf. Given Force India’s rapid improvement over the 2009 season, it would not be unreasonable to expect similar progress once Key becomes entrenched in the team’s operations.
In a recent interview, Sauber was asked if there was a “deep-seated” reason for the team’s poor performance, to which he admitted: "Yes, that’s probably true.
"When I sold the team to BMW in 2006 I made a clear decision to take a step back. It was important for me to have a certain distance from things.
"Now I’m discovering that there’s quite a lot to do. This process of analysis is underway and we will see the results in the near future," he added.