Sauber Not Interested in Haas-Like Relationship With Ferrari
Talks of the Swedish outfit becoming Ferrari's "junior team" have got them thinking.
Up until now, it was assumed that Sauber F1 would soon become Ferrari's testing grounds for new, up and coming drivers. Young guns who had been put through Maranello's junior program, including Antonio Giovinazzi and Charles LeClerc, were rumored to be headed for Sauber in 2018, developing a relationship that's similar to that of Haas and Ferrari. However, team boss Fred Vasseur said that his team is not interested in such a deal.
Talks of increased collaboration between the two, including an engine deal for next year, have brought about potential moves that would draw Sauber even closer to Ferrari. But as Vasseur tells, nothing has been promised beyond 2017, meaning things are very much still in the works.
"I am not considering at all Haas," said Vasseur to Motorsport.com. "They have their own collaboration with Ferrari and I have mine. I don't want to compare or to say, okay, Haas are doing it like this. It is not my issue at all."
He added that his team must develop its own working relationship with Ferrari. Whether that means merely receiving parts support from the boys in red, or growing into a full-fledged partnership, Vasseur claims that it must be unique to that of anyone else.
"I think the best compromise for us will be to be supported by Ferrari, but on the other hand I think we have a very strong facility, which is not the case for Haas." Vasseur added, "We have probably one of the best wind tunnels on the market and we have also to use our assets."
Meanwhile, Vasseur very much wants to keep his team's competitive nature in tact. Though Sauber hasn't been especially successful this season, falling to the bottom of the standings behind McLaren, Vasseur does not want them to be viewed as strictly a losing, developmental team. Instead, he wants to build the brand a name for itself and soon break the trend of never having won a Constructor's Championship.
"At one stage we have to find the best compromise for the collaboration but I want to keep the lid on the development. I don't want to be just a B-team or a customer team ... We have no driver under contract so far, even with Ferrari it is not done. We have no other contract for the future."
"I think everything is open. We will have to take a decision quite soon for sure."