Dec.20 (GMM) Sauber is still building up its staff numbers, boss Frederic Vasseur has revealed.
The Swiss team almost collapsed two years ago, but a buyout as well as a new alliance with Ferrari and Alfa Romeo now has Sauber feeling more confident about the future.
For 2019, the team will field Ferrari refugee Kimi Raikkonen, while boss Vasseur continues his mission to bolster the workforce after a difficult period.
“We did have around 320 people, but today there are 430,” he told the Swiss newspaper Blick.
“We have employed more than 50 new engineers alone. For 2019 we still have 35 vacancies,” Vasseur said.
“The Alfa Romeo name makes it easier to fill positions. We have become a very good address.”
Also helpful, Vasseur admitted, is the arrival of popular driver and 2007 world champion Raikkonen.
“Kimi is a Godsend,” he said. “We have a good understanding, there is no bulls**t, we clearly agree.
“Kimi can help us and comes to the factory more and more often. And Antonio (Giovinazzi) has learned a lot at Ferrari and this year is said to have done 75,000 kilometres on the simulator.”
Finally, with Ferrari and Force India already announcing mid-February launch dates for their 2019 cars, Vasseur confirmed that Sauber will follow suit.
“It will be mid February,” he confirmed. “Shortly before the test start in Barcelona. We are all excited and motivated.”