Sauber's Frederic Vasseur has said that he does not see a need for the Swiss team to "transform" as it attempts to move further forward on the F1 grid and away from the back of the pack. In recent years, Sauber has lost its shine and its competitive edge, going from one of F1's leading teams when backed by BMW to one of the back markers on the grid in the space of ten years. Off track, it has not been an easy time for Sauber, with financial difficulties plaguing the team although Longbow Finance's takeover in 2016 has eased this problem.
Vasseur joined Sauber after the British Grand Prix, one month after the exit of Monisha Kaltenborn - the team's former principal. The former Renault boss feels that the team do not have to undergo a major revolution to make performance gains however. "I don't have to transform the team, to be honest," said Vasseur. "I think that you have to put everything in perspective, the team last year was in a quite tough situation on the financial side. The restructuring went well, for sure we have to improve, but the team has a structure with very good engineers, very good technicians."
"We have to work, we have to invest, we have to do a lot of things, but everyone is pushing in the same direction, we have to do it step-by-step and we'll see," he added. "We have to target the midfield group, I don't know if it will take months or more, but we have to do it."
Outside of Sauber, Vasseur has a lot of connections and other responsibilities in motorsport, having business interests in Spark Racing Technology which is a key supplier in Formula E, and also in ART Grand Prix - a junior racing team which Vasseur co-founded in 2005.
Despite having other responsibilities, Vasseur stressed that he is dedicated to Sauber: "I don't have to divide my time, even if I kept some shares in my old business," he said. "I'm not involved at all in the management or day-by-day and I'm fully committed to the Sauber project – it was already like this last year [at Renault]."