Sauber is convinced that the arrival of Nico Hulkenberg next year will enable the team to fully capitalize on the performance of its car.
Although Sauber has delivered four podium finishes this year, it has also seen other strong results slip from its grasp. Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn believes that Hulkenberg's experience both before and in F1 should help the team make more of its opportunities, which will be vital for constructors' championship positions.
"Nico is a very strong driver," explained Kaltenborn. "He has been so far very successful in the series he has driven before F1, and he won all of them.
"If you look at this year he has shown how fast he is and especially how efficient he is, because every time there was an opportunity open up, he has got the points home. I think that is something we have not done on some occasions this year, and we hope with him we can utilize the potential of our car better than this year."
Although Kaltenborn did not go as far as criticizing Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi for not having delivered all that the car was capable of, she did drop a firm hint that perhaps the squad needed more experienced hands in the cockpit.
"I don't think one should criticize the drivers for that, because they are inexperienced and you cannot reproach them for that," she said. "It is a fact how long they have been in F1 and you cannot compare them to drivers who are five or six years in the sport – that is part of the deal.
"It shows even more when you have a car that is so competitive that it is not easy for a young driver to handle, so I would not say it is any way a criticism. As a team we have to say that there have been occasions when we could have done things differently and should have got points home. But we know we have those drivers, so maybe we should have prepared them in a different way.
"It is too easy to blame it on the drivers, which is not right, but we have to take the mistake as a team mistake, and try to correct it, which we are trying to address with this kind of a driver."