Motor racing: Struggling Sauber see light at end of the tunnel

Fri Jul 1, 2016 1:32pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

SPIELBERG, Austria (Reuters) - Swiss-based Sauber believe they can see light at the end of the tunnel after months of struggling to pay staff salaries and stay in Formula One.

Team manager Beat Zehnder and Brazilian driver Felipe Nasr told reporters at the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday that the situation was improving with wages paid on time in June after delays in previous months.

There has also been talk in the paddock of a mystery investor likely to lead to a change in ownership, although team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has stayed tight-lipped about negotiations.

"Paying salaries definitely helps for the atmosphere in the team," said Zehnder after Friday practice at the Red Bull Ring.

"Paying the salaries, the outstanding salaries, is part of a comprehensive solution we were still working on.

"Obviously, there is a change in atmosphere because now everyone believes again that there is a future."

Sauber have been in Formula One since 1993 and finished overall runners-up in the championship in 2007 when they were owned by BMW.

The German carmaker's decision to pull out after the 2009 season, and hand the team back to founder Peter Sauber, left them in difficulties that they have battled ever since with varying degrees of success.   Continued...

Formula One - Russian Grand Prix - Sochi, Russia - 30/4/16 - Sauber Formula One drivers Felipe Nasr of Brazil (R) and Marcus Ericsson of Sweden walk at the paddock area. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov