Sauber: Line-up shake-up not a problem

Autosport

Sauber does not think its competitiveness will be hurt if it elects to run with two different drivers next year.

The Hinwil-based outfit is losing Sergio Perez to McLaren for 2013, and Kamui Kobayashi's future there is unclear on the back of a season that has not delivered the results he had expected.

A number of drivers have been linked with drives there next season - including Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado, Jaime Alguersuari and Esteban Gutierrez – but team chiefs are adamant that no final decision has yet been made.

And although a complete shake-up of its driver line-up could hurt the team's momentum, Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn thinks it more important that its 2013 car is as good as this year's.

"It is a possibility since we have not decided on anything or communicated anything," explained Kaltenborn about the prospects of having two new drivers next year.

"But I am not worried about that because I think we have, particularly with this car, shown that if you have a competitive car you are already delivering a better performance.

"If you have young or inexperienced drivers you have to simply be aware that you do not have guarantees with them. They will make mistakes and that means maybe losing points, but it is something that we have chosen [to do in the past]. But the basis has to be a good car."

With Mexican sponsor Telmex confirming it will remain with the outfit in 2013, GP2 frontrunner Gutierrez is a strong contender for one of the seats, but Kaltenborn says he is not guaranteed a place.

"We have been building him up and that is what we have been saying all the while: that it is our duty towards him, to prepare his way into F1.

"But we don't want to now start commenting on single drivers irrespective of if they have a connection to us. The driver line-up we will announce separately and it is still our duty to prepare his way to F1."

Kaltenborn also made it clear that it did not hold any talks with Michael Schumacher about the possibility of him driving for it in 2013.

"We were never in negotiations with him, it was rather the media who came up with that option to us and said, 'what about this?' So that is where you get interesting ideas to spin around. And that is it."

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