Steiner has 'no problem' with Sauber's closer ties with Ferrari

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari SF71H leads Charles Leclerc (MON) Sauber F1 Team C37.
© XPB 

The Haas F1 team says it doesn't feel threatened by the increasingly close links between Ferrari and the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team this season.

Sauber has increasingly positioned itself as a Ferrari 'B-team' in the last year. It receives current-spec Ferrari power units and title sponsorship from Ferrari's Fiat stablemate.

Former Ferrari chief designer Simone Resta recently became Sauber’s technical director. That was just another factor contributing to the Swiss squad's marked upturn in form in 2018.

Haas had previously been Ferrari's closest collaborator on the Formula 1 grid. The team entered F1 in 2016 with a technical partnership with Ferrari to help it control costs.

But team principal Guenther Steiner says that his team isn't feeling threatened by the rise of Sauber.

“No. I mean, we’re progressing as well so I have no problem. Why would it?" he told RACER magazine this week.

“We’ve got a very good relationship with them [Ferrari]," he said. "It has worked now for four years, and we are very happy.

"They have no interest to make it worse because they are pretty happy with us.

"We pay our bills, we work hard, they see that," he continued. "We try to make them proud with their customer engine so they are happy as well."

Steiner said that he continued to work well with his counterpart Maurizio Arrivabene at Maranello, as well as Ferrari's chief technical officer Mattia Binotto

"I’ve got a good relationship with Maurizio and Mattia, so there’s no problem," he insisted.

Steiner added that it was Ferrari's progress with this year's power units that had put all three teams into such a strong position in 2018, and much closer to the Mercedes-powered squads.

“I think they have done a great job,” Steiner said. “They put us in a good spot with their work.

"I always said we believe in them, they’re doing a good job and now they are ahead of Mercedes."

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