Vasseur predicts 'huge step' for Sauber in 2018

Frederic Vasseur (FRA) Sauber F1 Team, Team Principal.
© XPB 

Sauber team boss Frederic Vasseur says its new title sponsorship deal with Alfa Romeo has already resulted in a big step forward for the Swiss squad.

Vasseur has already revealed that he cancelled the team's deal to switch to Honda within hours of taking over from Monisha Kaltenborn as principal.

That opened the door to talks with Alfa Romeo. In turn, that led to a new engine deal with Ferrari.

"To have a title sponsor for the team is a good move, but also a huge step," he told RACER magazine.

"For sure it was an exciting time as well as a tricky one," he explained. "We changed from Honda to the Ferrari engine and the Alfa Romeo deal quite late. It was the end of July.

"We delayed the design a little bit, but it was on purpose," he insisted. "When we decided come back to the Ferrari engine the design of the car with the Honda engine was already started.

"That meant a small delay when we had to redesign the back of the car to change the approach a little bit. But that's life.

"It's much better to have this problem than to have to deal with the guys in the factory having nothing to do!

"For the company and the marketing and communications team it was also tricky," he pointed out. "It's not a big deal ... It's more of a rush for the team.

"But now we have a long-term deal. It's not a problem if for a couple of weeks at the beginning it is an issue."

He added that the new title sponsorship deal meant the team finally had the money to start to grow again.

"We have to reinforce every single department and recruit a lot," he said. "We have to be focused on the next years, and not on the last weeks."

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