The Interview K

a Have you ever regretted the decision to buy the team back?

No, never. And I never will, although I knew that keeping the team alive would be a very difficult task. But if I hadn't taken the plunge, every day I'd have been asking myself why. We've cleared cnc obstacle after another from our path. When I compare the situation a year ago to where we are today, everybody in the team can be prcud of what we've achieved.

a The team's progress early in the season was very slow. What was going through your mind then? That was tough, no question. The car was rot only too slow, it was also unreliable, which is extremely unusual for this team. And then, as so often happens in sport we also had a fair amount cf bad luck. That wasn't just annoying, it also made negotiations with potential sponsors pretty much a non-starter.

But then, from Valencia onwards, things suddenly picked up. What was the catalyst? In April, james Key took over as technical director and achieved a great deal ¡n a short period of time. He and his team

Peter Sauber, team principal, Sauber F1

1970-'76: built Saubers for Swiss Hillclimb

Championship and Sportscar racing

1976: Most successful early Sauber, the C5, wins Inters eries ii 1977-'78: Le Mans with C5

il 1979: F2 with Lolas ii 1980-'81:

developing and racing BMW Ml ^ 1982: C6 Sportscar, first wind tunnel-developed Sauber

1985-'91: working with Mercedes Benz in Sportscars

* 2005-'09: team is sold to BMW, Sauber takes on an advisory role within team ^2009-'10: BMW withdrawn from F1 at end of '09. Sauber buys team back identified the weaknesses of the C29 and laid down a clear road map for improvements. These ideas were quickly put into practice and had a positive effect. After collecting just a single Wbrld Championship point in the first eight races ot the season, we added another 56 over the next eight GPs - plus seven in the final three races. Added to which, James also implemented a series of organisational changes. Our success in finding a way out of such a difficult situation over the course of the season represents a fine advertisement for the cuality and spirit within the team.

a How is the development of the new car progressing?

The development of the Sauber C30-Ferrari is running according to plan. We're setting our sights high, and things are looking good so far. James Key has proved in the past that he knows how to build fast cars. All the changes to the technical regulations - including the ban on double diffusers, the introduction of Pirelli tyres, adjustable rear wings and the option of using K6RS - make this a particularly exacting challenge this year.

A lot has been written about the team being up for sale. What's the current situation? I own 100 per cent of the team and there are at present no plans to sell the team or any part of it Our partnership with Telmex, which will come into force on 1 January 2011, does not include any kind of stake holding and is purely a sponsoring agreement.

How long will you stay on as team boss?

A year ago, I said that I didr't want to remain on the pit wall when I turned 70. That's still the case, and I'm now 67. The critical thing tor me Is to ensure that we bring even greater stability to the team and

Chip Ganassi was the recipient of the first ever International Motorsports Industry Show Achievement Award, presented at the IMIS welcome reception. Ganassi was recognised for his championship wins in IndyCar and Grand-Am anc his Sprint Cup team's race victories in NASCAR.

Gary Peterson has ended his AFS Racing team's tie up with Andretti Autosport, with which it joined forces tliree years ago - mainly to compete in Indy Lights, but also for sporadic IndyCar races. The AFS team still hopes to run its own IndyCar programme in the future, but for 2011 it will continue to run in Indy Lights.

Bernle Ecclestone

Formula 1 boss, Bcrnic Ecclestone, was mugged in central London in the lead up to Christmas. Fl's commercial boss was with his girlfriend, Fabiana Flo si, when they were attacked by four men. Ecclestone, who is 80, was knocked unconscious during the attack and it was widely reported that the robbers got away with £200,000 worth of jewellery.

Adrian Campos is to take his Campos Racing squad into the Auto GP championship in 2011. The founder of the Hispania Formula 1 team, which was bought from Campos by Jose Ramon Carabante before the 2010 season started, has won several championships with his eponymous team, including the 2008 GP2 crown. Campos, a former F1 driver, set up his team in 1998.

Anthony 'Boyo' Hieatt has taken over the Raikkonen Robertson Formula 3 team he has managed since 2005, buying out Steve and David Robertson and former F1 world champ turned WRC driver, Kimi Raikkonen. The team will now be known as Double R Racing.

Anthony 'Boyo' Hieatt has taken over the Raikkonen Robertson Formula 3 team he has managed since 2005, buying out Steve and David Robertson and former F1 world champ turned WRC driver, Kimi Raikkonen. The team will now be known as Double R Racing.

Motoroport writer, Christopher Hilton, the man who wrote the first biography of Ayrton Senna, has died. Hilton was a prolific and eclectic author, writing books on subjects ranging from 1930s' grand piix

February 2011 •

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