Peter Sauber says his team has no concerns about its 2010 budget despite the lack of sponsor logos on the Sauber C29 when it was unveiled at Valencia this afternoon.
The team has reduced its staff level from around 400 to 260 over the winter, and revealed at the launch that its chassis budget was 40 percent of what BMW had spent last year before its pullout led to the squad reverting to Sauber ownership. Sauber acknowledged that a greater budget would have been preferable, but said time had been against his team given that its place in the 2010 entry was not confirmed until late last year.
"I hope we will see more [sponsors] – I'm sure we will see more when we start racing, or maybe when we start the European season," he said. "We had not a lot of time to look for sponsors. We started close to Christmas. It was a very difficult time to find sponsors, especially big sponsors."
He emphasized that the budget for 2010 was already in place. "The season is financially secure, but, of course, we have to look very hard for new sponsors – not only for 2010 but especially for 2011 and on," Sauber said.
Technical director Willy Rampf added that he did not expect to have to compromise development too much because of the budget situation. "We are restricted in budget, but we will have an update for Bahrain," he said.
Sauber is optimistic that his team can still emulate BMW's late-2009 performance with its current level of finance.
"We finished the season in sixth position last year and we've reduced the budget a lot now," he said. "We've reduced the staff to about 260 and the goal is to stay on a similar level to last year. It's necessary to be efficient."
But he added that the team was likely to be well placed as the resource restriction agreement kicked in over the coming seasons, as this would force its rivals to cut back as well.
"Yes, more or less," Sauber replied when asked if his resources were around the size that future rules will stipulate. "We are on a level like we have to be in the future."