F1i looks back over the whole of the 2017 Formula 1 world championship season team-by-team and driver-by-driver, starting with Sauber F1.
The best thing that can be said about Sauber's season is that it's been a period of transition. The team had been in a parlous position in 2016 before its takeover by Longbow Finance, but as the new year began it was clear that they were still struggling to find a new direction to return them to their former status in Formula 1.
Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn organised a deal with Honda for engines in 2018, but left the team shortly afterwards to be replaced by former Renault man Frederic Vasseur. The Honda deal was then dumped in favour of much closer ties with Ferrari, almost to the point of making them a Maranello B-team, culminating in the end-of-year confirmation that Sauber will have title sponsorship from Alfa Romeo next season.
Unsurprisingly in the turbulent behind-the-scenes circumstances, the team struggled to make an impact on the race track. It scored points on only two occasions in Spain and Azerbaijan, and duly finished at the bottom of the constructors standings. Other than Baku, the only race all year in which a Sauber even managed to finish on the lead lap was at Spa. After this, things can surely only get better next year.
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