Sauber is confident that its chances of delivering its target of regular points finishes in 2012 will not be dented by the departure of technical director James Key.
The Swiss-based team announced last week that Key was to leave the squad to take up a job offer in Britain, with fresh speculation suggesting he could temporarily take on a role in sports cars before returning to F1.
The loss of Key, who joined the team in the middle of 2010, comes just a few weeks before the start of the campaign, but Sauber chiefs are optimistic that the new structure it has in place should not lead to any problems while other staff fill his old responsibilities.
Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn said: "The situation was not fitting well for a while, so you of course start considering what you can do. The people who are now in charge of the performance of the car have already been there, they have been in charge of it before as well, so we don't expect any destabilisation to happen. Moreover the car is ready, we know what the plan is, so we really do not expect this."
Sergio Perez also reckons that the team had such a strong technical strength that Key's departure would not hurt it.
"The way I see it is we have already a strong team," said the Mexican. "James was a key person and a good leader, but I think we have very good people at the team who can do the job and the team will be together. I am really confident that the team will be really strong."
Although Kaltenborn did not want to divulge too much background about the reasons for Key's departure, she suggested that both parties realized their working relationship was not panning out as hoped.
"He is not here so, to be fair, for a while both sides have been feeling that things are not working out, and also not the way both sides expected it. I guess this situation is the result of that.
"James Key joined us at the time where we were in the transformation from a works team to a private team, and his contribution was very valuable. So we are very thankful to him for that. We now have a structure in place that we are confident about. It is the right one for the team to go ahead, so it is not any short term solution for us but a long-term structure."
Kaltenborn also denied reports that the team's decision to not seek another technical director – instead using department heads to oversee the car evolution – was down to a lack of budget at the team.
"There are reports around that we will not replace our technical director because we lack funds," she said. "Now just to be clear and open here, if we look back 20 years the team has always lacked funds – sometimes bigger than other times. You will see the day when there is no gap in our budget because then we will be driving more in front, so it is easy to monitor."
Kaltenborn said that talks were ongoing with sponsors, and that she was hopeful new deals could be signed before the start of the season.
"We are also negotiating with new partners so I am quite confident that our livery will look different by the time we are at the first race," she said.