Audi’s withdrawal from Le Mans is a blessing in disguise for Sauber.
That is the claim of Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport, even though Audi’s world endurance championship programme was the exclusive client of the Swiss F1 team’s state-of-the-art wind tunnel in Hinwil.
That exclusive deal is now ending, but Audi will reportedly keep using the Sauber tunnel for DTM and Formula E.
And the struggling Swiss team will also benefit on the personnel front.
It is reported that Jorg Zander, Audi’s technical boss, will now lead Sauber’s technical team.
The German is no stranger to Sauber, having worked there in the BMW days, and he also has experience working with Williams, Honda and Brawn.
Meanwhile, Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn played down claims the team will obviously be significantly disadvantaged by using year-old Ferrari engines next year.
“Next year, four engines per driver will be used and in 2018 it goes down to three,” she said. “So most of the development will be in engine life, not in power.”