Sauber and Toro Rosso in “five-race championship”

2013 F1 season

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Sauber and Toro Rosso see themselves in a “five-race championship” after tying on points at the Korean Grand Prix.

The two teams are tied for seventh place in the constructors’ championship on 31 points. Both teams have little development work left to do with their current cars.

Sauber’s head of track engineering Tom McCullough said: “We brought forward our final update package from India to the previous race in Korea so there’s no more new parts on our car between now and the end of the year.”

“We’ve had to push the development of this year’s car a little bit more than we wanted to just because we were on the back foot a bit at the start of the year. We had a few problems to address so we’ve been developing both car’s in parallel, next year’s and this year’s cars.”

Toro Rosso technical director James Key said: “We brought our last bits in Singapore, we’ve got a few small items to come.”

“Mechanically there’s a sort of ongoing development process a little bit with trying to adapt to the tyre change still because that had a negative effect on us, we think. And we kind of know why but there’s a few things we still need to do.”

For Sauber the change in tyre construction is partly what turned their season around, explains McCullough: “The change in tyres happened around the same time too so lowering the front ride height on a Formula One car tends to help you as well.”

“But fundamentally for us the biggest different really started in Budapest. We didn’t score points but we saw how the car was working aerodynamically and we’ve just built on that from there, really.”

“At the moment [we’re] obviously level on points,” he continued, “we were a little bit lucky with some circumstances last weekend.”

“But I think as Jean-Eric [Vergne] said yesterday it’s game on from here really. We’re starting from the same points, pretty similar car performance from track to track, there’s not a lot in it, so it’s going to be a good little fight between now and the end of the year.”

Key agreed: “It’s going to be tight, it’s exciting to be in a battle like that but not where you want to be with five races to go when you’ve got a massive regulations change next year.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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29 comments on “Sauber and Toro Rosso in “five-race championship””

  1. Let’s not forget that Sauber also have a slim chance of reeling in Force India. If they manage that, it would be amazing, although it would mean appalling luck from FI. I’m looking forward to seeing how this midfield battle pans out…and I seriously hope that this sort of close fighting carries on in the next few years.

    1. It might give F1 a big enough kick in the rear to get them moving again for next year…
      …and chosing a better driver line-up.

        1. A better driver line up? Apart from the top teams, FI has the best driver line up on the grid.
          Give me your view as to who else FI should have had as their drivers for this year?.

          1. @rojov123 Best lineup? I think STR and Williams have as good, if not better lineups. Taking Sutil was a mistake, keeping di Resta an even bigger one.

          2. @rojov123 well, Hulkenberg left them…

            It’s not a strong line-up…. it’s a so-so pair of drivers IMO.

          3. I could never say that FI has a good line-up…I see Paul di Resta as being over-hyped by the British media just because he’s British. He has yet to really live up to that promise. I was hopeful for him when he first came into the sport, but he just lacks that spark.

            One could say a similar thing about Adrian Sutil, too – he doesn’t really set the sport on fire, and (though his return was much-vaunted), he has not delivered, either. I think Force India (if they manage to develop a decent car for next year) could do well to have an entirely new lineup…plus it would keep the fans interested.

    2. Di Retsa was a great driver at the start of the season, but he’s completely lost the plot of late.

    3. I’d say Sauber has a pretty good chance of reeling in Force India. Hulk said the C32 has great traction and great top speed, right? Yas Marina and COTA, with their long straits and some slow corners, will definitely give Sauber the opportunity to use their advantage. FI is not doing well developing their car on the current Pirelli tire compound. I think it’ll take quite a feat from di Resta and Sutil to fend off the incredible Hulk.

    4. Would love to see Sauber challenge FI as well as surpass Toro Rosso. Much will depend on the results of Gutierrez.

      1. In the last 3 races Sauber have scored 24 points to 1 point for FI. What a ratio!

  2. I certainly hope they give us a nice fight for championship position. Its not all over for the 5th-6th spot and for 2nd either.

    1. Caterham is chasing 10th.

      1. yes, but that one is more or less down to hoping to get enough dropouts to finish ahead of Marussias best spot.

  3. Up till this part of the season, the constructors’ battles worth watching are Ferrari vs Mercedes, Sauber vs Toro Rosso and Caterham vs Marrusia. Red Bull are (obviously) way too far ahead and their form means that they’ll probably win the rest of the season. Lotus are now lagging some way behind Mercedes, and may get a few more podiums but are unlikely to catch Mercedes or Ferrari. As for McLaren and Force India, based on the current form of both teams, I certainly can’t see Force India outscoring McLaren, or even coming close to doing so. Sauber and Toro Rosso are obviously the ones to watch, with Daniel Ricciardo in a tight fight with Nico Hulkenberg in my opinion. As for Caterham and Marrusia, Caterham have been beating Marrusia for a long time now, but they can never get a race which has enough retirements to get ahead in the WCC. I think that Caterham are more deserving of P10 in the constructors, so there’s a loophole in the points system, perhaps. Other than that, there aren’t really many battles worth looking forward to, so putting the championship aside, we should just enjoy the racing itself.

    1. @wpinrui

      A Marrusia fan, so i’m hoping that they can get ahead of Caterham. I admit that both should stay in the sport, but that’s why Marussia should be ahead of Caterham. Caterham (according to Tony Fernandes) can survive with 11th place, Marussia might not be able to. I don’t want to see the grid being reduced to 10 teams, and it might go that way next year as Bernie seems to deny their very existence.

    2. I have no particular preference between Caterham and Marussia, but i agree that Caterham deserve the place more. One random result shouldn’t trump consistency throughout the season in my opinion. I think there should a seperate points system for teams who fail to score a real championship point. You could for example give “secondary points” from 11th to 20th in the same formula as currently from 1st to 10th, e.g. 25-18-15 etc, and use these to rate the teams (these secondary points would only be used where ‘real’ points are 0 for each team). Or it may be too generous to give points down to 20th position so award them from 11th to 15th, or whatever is deemed fair.

      Whatever system they adopt would be fairer than the current system which doesn’t cater for teams who fail to score. And it matters to these teams since big money, potentially team saving money, is up for grabs. I know F1 should be focussed on success, and scoring points, but i don’t see any reason to not update the system to deal better with the current situation.

      1. I fear with this approach you would begin to create a two-tier championship.

        The points are awarded to the top 10. Beyond that is a system used to differentiate people with the same score. As I’m sure you’d argue that if the two championship contenders tied for points should be separated on the total number of their best result, no matter how those were achieved, I don’t think the system for those at the reverse end of things should be any different.

      2. No, I hate points systems that award points for everyone, e.g. Indycar & NASCAR. I’d rather go into a round knowing that no finish = no points (in most cases), than having to figure out who would have to retire first to score a reasonable haul.

    3. Ferrari vs. Mercedes is going to be a tight battle for 2nd in the WCC. I think Ferrari will really have their hands full to keep ahead of Mercedes.

      If we have just one rain race in the remaining races it could really change things up in the Constructor standings.

  4. Headline would more accurately be Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso in five race championship :)

    1. @debaser91 given gutierrez recent performance he might actually be able to score points for once. he had a brilliant start in korea but dropped back after massa spun out and he had to take evasive action. i think he’s probably the only rookie that’s good to score points in the remaining races.

    2. @debaser91 My thoughts exactly. Gutierrez might be showing signs of improvement but it’s too little too late. I won’t be surprised if he fails to bring home a single point.
      Instead of Sauber it should be called Team Hulk.

  5. probably time for “points for all” or the top 20.
    Currently the second worst team can beat the worst team almost all year long, but loose out because in the one race the worst team got the better of them they lucked into 12th or 13th…….something like this maybe??
    1st 80
    2nd 60
    3rd 50
    4th 40
    5th 35
    6th 30
    7th 25
    8th 22
    9th 21
    10th 20
    11th 10
    12th 9
    13th 8
    14th 7
    15th 6
    16th 5
    17th 4
    18th 3
    19th 2
    20th 1

    1. i don’t think this suits the sport you know.
      there’s a problem there with the people that DNF. would they get points? and if so, how do you determine who gets the higher position if two cars collide? and if they don’t get points for a DNF, the other teams will still get closer in the championship.

      here’s an example why it wouldn’t work:
      let’s assume that vettel leads alonso 5 points in the championship. vettel and alonso collide on the first lap of the last grand prix. vettel is out of the race but alonso can continue with some damage to his car and finishes 15th, meaning he gets 6 points and wins the championship with a 15th place.

      that’s not how f1 i meant to be like.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        11th October 2013, 19:03

        Agree with your second point. Under a points for all system, drivers that retire will score points wherever they are classified when they retired.

        It was interesting to see the IndyCar season finale, where Will Power crashed out early on, but the team repaired the car so he could run a few laps to jump ahead of other retired drivers.

      2. It’s my opinion that drivers who retire, even if it’s 50 m before the finish line, should get no points. Retiring on the first or last lap is irrelevant.

        And why is that not how F1 is meant to be? What’s the difference between your scenario and there being a 1 point difference, Vettel retiring and Alonso finishing 8th with today’s system?

        I don’t think that a points-for-all is a bad idea in principle, but it would have to be planned carefully. The points system suggested above gives 10 more points to the 10th than to the 11th, yet only 1 more point to the 9th than to the 10th. Nonsense.

  6. Michael Brown (@)
    11th October 2013, 19:07

    While I doubt that Sauber can beat Toro Rosso, if Hulk keeps up his form he could do it.

  7. Come on Sauber!!

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