Swiss-based Sauber, who came into the sport in 1993, have never won a grand prix as an independent team. Their sole triumph to date came as BMW-Sauber with Polish driver Robert Kubica in Canada in 2008.
They have come close already this season, with Mexican Sergio Perez finishing second in Malaysia in March and then taking third place in Canada at the weekend.
Sauber have also already scored 14 more points than in all of last year.
“Before the season I don’t suppose anyone would have put that question to me,” Sauber said when asked in a team Q+A whether a win could be on the cards.
“But now, after seven races with seven different winners, so much seems possible.
“In Malaysia we came very close to winning. Further podium places certainly seem a realistic prospect. The pre-requisite of course is that our drivers go into the race from good grid positions.”
While some have said the unprecedented streak of seven different winners in the first seven races risks devaluing the sport, Sauber was thrilled by the cars being much closer in performance terms.
“As far as I can see it’s just a handful of people in the paddock who can’t get used to not knowing by Friday who’s going to win on Sunday,” said the Swiss.
“I think the fans see it in a completely different light. They’re delighted with the unpredictability, the sheer variety and the unbelievably close competition. I’ve been in Formula One for 20 years now and for me it’s never been better or more exciting.”
Sauber said his team’s car, the C31, was far better than recent results suggested and could achieve a lot if everything fell into place.
“After seven races it is patently clear the C31 can be fast on virtually any kind of track,” he added. DM
Photo: Sauber Formula One driver Kamui Kobayashi (L) of Japan is airborne after crashing at the start of the Monaco F1 Grand Prix May 27, 2012. REUTERS/Max Rossi
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