Kaltenborn: No easy recipe


Despite watching as Haas gain many of this season’s plaudits, and points, Monisha Kaltenborn is uncertain as to whether the Haas model would work for Sauber.

Although Haas are the new boys on the block, the American outfit is sixth in the championship having scored points in all but one grand prix.

That is a marked difference to Sauber’s fortunes as the Swiss team has yet to score a single point with their best results two P12s.

As such Kaltenborn was asked whether the Haas model, which involves a chassis from an outside source and several Ferrari parts aside from the engine, would be ‘viable’ for Sauber.

The team boss replied to Formula1.com: “I would not want to comment on any other team without knowing all the details. We on the outside see a bit – and whatever it is they are doing a good job. A very remarkable job.

“At the same time whatever one knows about it from the outside, there are certain ways which we don’t think are the right way. We do believe that it is essential for Formula One that a team turns up as a constructor.

“You could argue about what that exactly is – but I think that some things should be done on one’s own that makes Formula One.”

Pressed as to what makes ‘a constructor a constructor’, she said: “I don’t want to go down into all the details, but what you have to make sure of is that the engineering challenge that Formula One should be is there. That is what made the sport not too many years ago very exciting. Look at our own history!

“There must be things where you can show how much smarter you are than the rest – and the constructor definition gave you not only the obligation, but also a certain degree of liberty to grow your own ideas.

“Now most things are already determined – yes, like the power unit. So many things are given already, so the areas where you can have your own innovative approach and the engineering challenge are already less. So in the end there is no easy recipe and no straight line to draw.

“I think we have to bring back that engineering challenge. Looking at the bigger picture, there are many ways to bring the field closer together – and that is what the sport needs. One thing is the financial side – looking at the costs and looking at the income distribution – but you also must not neglect the technical side.

“If you would allow certain things to be done again – or give more freedom in certain areas, under certain given restrictions – then even smaller teams could maybe come up with ideas that are not a question of money but a question of smartness. That is what we have seen in the past.”

As for finances, which are dominating Sauber’s headlines and delaying their on-track improvements, Kaltenborn concedes that “life is not easy” but hopes that a resolution will be found soon.

She said: “As you know as a team principal, I do not discuss financial affairs in public and I will not change that. Yes, life is not easy – that is true – and like any other team we are facing quite severe challenges. But we are working hard on solutions – which is the most important thing – and we hope to resolve the situation soon.

“I cannot give any specific time – but, of course, for us it has to be as quick as possible. Of course that would also help other teams who are also in difficult conditions, as we are not the only one. We need to work in surroundings that are a bit more favourable towards private teams.”