Frederic Vasseur thinks 2018 will be a more competitive year for Sauber. Last year, as the former Renault boss took over at the helm of the Swiss team, Sauber finished dead last in the constructors’ championship. “There was not just one weak point,” Vasseur told France’s Auto Hebdo. “Instead, it was the result of the difficulties of the team in 2016.”

Indeed, Sauber almost collapsed financially in 2016, and was ultimately rescued only in the late summer by a consortium linked to driver Marcus Ericsson. Vasseur explained: “The 2017 car was ready very late. It was a new project and if you are six months late, it only adds to a difficult situation and it’s very difficult to catch up.

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