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Sauber eyeing fifth in constructors'

ESPN Staff
September 12, 2012 « Ferrari sees Raikkonen as danger man | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »
Sergio Perez's podium moved Sauber to within 26 points of Mercedes © Sutton Images
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Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn is targeting fifth place in the constructor's championship this season as her team closes on Mercedes in the standings.

After Sergio Perez's podium finish at the Italian Grand Prix, Sauber scored its 100th point this year and is now just 26 adrift of Mercedes in fifth. Kaltenborn is confident her team can continue to improve and achieve its best finishing position in the championship since 2001.

"After our strong start to the season, many people were predicting that the wheels would come off for us, so to speak, as the season progressed," she said. "The reality, though, is we're getting stronger all the time, and I'm anticipating that we'll continue to deliver good performances through the final third of the season. Before the season got under way we said we wanted to significantly improve our position in the World Championship. Taking our seventh place in the constructors' standings in 2011 as a starting point, that would mean finishing fifth this year. That's an ambitious target, but you have to set your sights high. And I have every confidence in our team."

Kaltenborn said Sauber would continue to develop its car over the coming races and is confident it has tapped a rich vein of performance with the C31.

"We are working extremely efficiently. The extensive package of upgrades we introduced for the races at Barcelona and Silverstone were successful. Our progress at the race track has met our expectations and calculations in full, which is a major feather in the cap of our engineers. And there's still more to come from the C31. We'll be bringing another series of upgrades to the upcoming races in Asia, at the same time as pushing ahead with the development of next year's car, of course. So it's not only a question of the pace of development, but more particularly efficiency. Here, the issue of costs clearly plays a critical role. The greater the resources at your disposal, the more intensively you can develop the car, and that is reflected directly in performance."