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Kaltenborn keeping expectations in check

ESPN Staff
February 2, 2013 « Sauber launches new C32 | Mercedes' preview of W04 crashes »
Monisha Kaltenborn: "We're not saying we want to finish in this or that position in the standings" © Sutton Images
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Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn is keeping her team's expectations in check for the upcoming season after launching the new C32 in Switzerland.

Last year Sauber scored four podiums and finished sixth in the constructors' championship, just 16 points behind Mercedes. But while Kaltenborn is confident the new car is a step forward, she said the team was not automatically targeting fifth in the constructors' this year.

"We're not saying we want to finish in this or that position in the standings, as ultimately other factors will also come into play that are outside our control," she said. "What we can be clear about, however, is that we want to continue on our upward curve."

However, she said the team is confident the C32 is a step forward.

"What I can say is that we're well prepared, that we've got the new car finished in good time and that we've met the performance targets we set ourselves internally. That puts us in a confident frame of mind. But we'll only really find out what it all amounts to at the first race of the season in Melbourne."

Sauber approaches the new season with two new drivers as Nico Hulkenberg joins from Force India and Esteban Gutierrez makes the jump up to race driver from his reserve role. Kaltenborn said she is confident the two drivers would be able to push the team forward.

"Esteban Gutiérrez's relationship with the team goes back to 2010, and we have introduced him steadily to the world of Formula One. Now he is ready to take the final step," she said. "We expect him to learn quickly and turn his considerable talent into good results.

"Nico Hülkenberg has impressed us on many occasions, not only with his speed but, most importantly, by how efficiently he has driven. It is this level of efficiency that we hope to see this year again. And, of course, we expect him to contribute his technical experience. I'm in no doubt that we have a strong driver pairing in place."