New and improved Sauber now an 'attractive' proposition

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Thanks to its significant progress in 2018, Sauber has now become an "attractive project" for F1 talent such as engineers or drivers, says team boss Frédéric Vasseur.

The Swiss outfit was saved from a painful demise over the summer of 2018, and has since built itself up from a fresh financial and engineering foundation under Vasseur's guidance.

Sauber enjoyed the commercial backing of Alfa Romeo for 2018 and increased its collaboration with Ferrari, leading to a move up the grid last year that revitalized its prospects which in turn helped the team's recruitment efforts.

"We had Ferrari, Alfa Romeo, we had Charles [Leclerc] joining the team," Vasseur told

"We took Jan Monchaux, Simone Resta, brought them into the factory.

"Each week we had good news, it's like a spiral. The motivation is there, the mood is huge compared to last year, the team spirit.

"We're in a much better position to recruit, to have top guys in every single department. I have the feeling that we're really attractive as a project."

Sauber's momentum allowed Vasseur to pull off a major coup when he convinced Kimi Raikkonen to remain in F1 after his departure from Ferrari and move to Hinwil where he will race alongside young charger Antonio Giovinazzi in 2019.

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

"Drivers are the same story," added Vasseur. "Kimi knows it will be difficult for us to better than P7 without an accident [for bigger teams].

"The motivation can come from somewhere else. The fact we're improving, we're growing up, we're building something – I think it's a huge feeling for all the team members, including drivers."

As spectacular as Sauber's revival has been, Vasseur insists it isn't over, with the Frenchman determined to establish the team as a consistent top-10 contender.

"We recruited a lot since last year to improve on every single part of the company and it's paying off," he said.

"When we started to work at the end of '17, people joined at the beginning of '18 and some of them were working on the '18 car.

"Some of them switched directly to next year's car. It's the first results of this recruitment. I hope it will get more and more."

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