Apr.23 (GMM) Pedro de la Rosa is hoping Sauber can make a big step forward at his home grand prix next month.
The C29 car has not only been off the pace so far in 2010, de la Rosa’s 12th place in Australia was the team’s only race finish.
It has also been rumoured that the 39-year-old risks losing his race seat, but he told Spain’s El Mundo Deportivo: “We have high hopes for Barcelona.
“We have new parts to improve the car’s performance, it is a major leap.
“And we hope that Ferrari have now solved the engine problem,” de la Rosa, who retired in China with a second consecutive engine failure, added.
It emerged on Thursday that, while the cause of de la Rosa’s Shanghai failure has not been clarified, Ferrari has identified a general problem with the pneumatic system of its 2.4 litre V8.
De la Rosa said Sauber’s double engine problem in Malaysia was linked to sensors, adding that in China “we had different sensors and the pneumatic system failed for some other reason”.
He also said he welcomes the arrival from Force India of James Key, who replaces Sauber’s departing long-time technical boss Willy Rampf.
“I think he is the right man for the job and already during the (China GP) weekend we realised that he knows what he is talking about.
“He now knows what are our weak points and will work on them.
“In this business it’s always good to have fresh ideas from people who have worked in different environments and with different cars.
“It’s important to have new people from time to time,” de la Rosa added. “If you look at a top team, every year or two they get new people from other teams.”