Sauber: FIA U-turn cost us in second half of the season

Peter Sauber has pointed a finger at F1’s governing body as the Swiss team rues the loss of millions in income. After the season finale in Brazil, Sauber team figures were happy at least to have beaten Toro Rosso to the chequered flag for seventh in the constructors’ world championship.

But “for all the joy we have not forgotten that we wanted more,” founder and boss Peter Sauber wrote in a column for the Swiss newspaper Blick.

“At mid season we were solidly in position 6, but we soon fell behind Force India. The reason is the blown diffuser and the so-called ‘off-throttle-blowing’,” said Sauber, whose team would have earned considerably more income with sixth in the standings.

He is referring to the mid-season controversy that saw the FIA ban the technology only to promptly re-allow it.

“We stopped this development after the FIA announced the ban,” wrote Sauber. “That proved to be a mistake because the FIA went back and bizarrely allowed this technology again. It got us badly on the defensive into the second half of the season. Those with the systems optimised their advantage, achieving much more than a second per lap.”

The issue has finally been settled for 2012, with a comprehensive ban.

“Other than that, the rule changes (for next season) are moderate,” acknowledged Sauber. “Therefore our (2012 car) C31 will not be a revolution but rather a targeted evolution, albeit with numerous changes.”


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