Jan.31 (GMM) Sauber’s newly launched 2010 should bear some more sponsor stickers within the forthcoming months.
When the wraps were pulled off the mainly white and black C29 at Valencia on Sunday, many observers interpreted the blank look as a preliminary testing livery.
But closer inspection showed that one of Kamui Kobayashi’s Japanese sponsors is already showing on the rear wing endplate, while the Swiss watch maker Certina’s name is on the rearview mirrors.
“I hope there will be more — I’m quite sure there will be more (sponsors) on the car in Bahrain, or no later than the beginning of the European season,” team owner Peter Sauber told reporters at the Ricardo Tormo circuit.
“We did not have much time to look for sponsors because we only started just before Christmas. It is also a very difficult time to find them, especially major ones (sponsors),” the 66-year-old Swiss added.
Sauber explained that the 2010 budget is fully in place, having reduced the operating budget by 40 per cent.
He also played down suggestions that Nick Heidfeld was overlooked as race driver because Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa are bringing sponsors.
“No,” Sauber answered. “It would have been possible to get drivers at a very low price, not just Nick, but other very good drivers.
“We currently have no sponsors with Pedro, although I certainly hope that in the future we will benefit from the Spanish market,” he added.
Sauber also confirmed that there are no plans to drop ‘BMW’ from the official title of the team before the start of the 2010 season.
When asked if the departed German carmaker is still backing Sauber, or whether the reason for the unchanged formal name is due to the financial elements of the Concorde Agreement, he answered: “The latter is the case.”
When asked if engine and gearbox supplier Ferrari objects to the continuing BMW moniker, Sauber said: “No. For most people it is ok.”