Sergio Perez reckons Sauber, with its Ferari ties and “great team leader”, could be the team to watch in 2019 – and he’s not the only one bigging up Sauber’s chances.
Last year, linking up with Alfa Romeo, Sauber recovered from a wretched 2017 to finish eighth with 48 points on the board.
Such was the team’s on-track improvements that they secured Kimi Raikkonen for the upcoming campaign with Ferrari protege Antonio Giovinazzi joining the Finn.
Perez believes Sauber could surprise in 2019.
He told Motorsport.com: “Sauber is a great team.
“They went through a very difficult period for a couple of years, but now I think with the Ferrari relationship they are coming back.
“You see Fred [Vasseur] is a great team leader and I think they are making great progress.
“They are definitely the team to watch. Next year they are going to be quite high up.
“I am looking forward for that.”
And he’s not the only one who feels that way.
Carlos Sainz recently stated that McLaren should “fear” Sauber in what has become an extremely tight midfield in F1.
“We should all fear them,” he said. “But next year we should fear everyone.
“You think about Sauber, but then you think about Force India with a bit more budget, what they could be capable of.
“You think about Renault, what they are able to do. You think about Haas, if they keep getting the amount of Ferrari parts that they are getting.
“You think about McLaren with a whole new project and wanting to invest and wanting to go back to P4 in the championship after a difficult year.
“You think about all these teams, and you think anyone could lead the midfield battle next year.”