Wehrlein point for Manor is bad news for Sauber
The Austrian Grand Prix weekend set the scene for both good and bad news regarding the future of the struggling Sauber team.
The Swiss outfit went into the Red Bull Ring event sounding confident about the future, after finally paying staff and indicating a rescue buyout deal is on the cards for the near future, but then came Pascal Wehrlein’s superb weekend in the Styrian mountains.
The Manor rookie drove to a sensational 12th on the grid and an even more stunning tenth placed finish, netting an ultra-rare point for the backmarker team.
Wehrlein, 21, told Auto Motor und Sport the point is of “vital importance to the team”, referring to the fact that it elevates Manor into the top ten teams that benefit from Bernie Ecclestone’s lucrative post-season prize money.
The only point-less team that is dead last in the championship now, is Sauber.
“This means that the team, all of us, has to react, and that means developing the car,” Sauber driver Felipe Nasr told UOL Esporte. “Clearly it’s time to upgrade the car, which is scheduled to happen after Silverstone.”
But boss and co-owner Monisha Kaltenborn indicated that the Sauber package will get an immediate boost ahead of this weekend’s British grand prix.
“At this engine track, we got everything possible out of the car,” she said before departing Austria. “At the next race we will get a (Ferrari) engine upgrade and will do everything to move forward.”