BARCELONA (Reuters) - Swiss-based Sauber ended their Formula One points drought on Sunday with Pascal Wehrlein finishing eighth in the Spanish Grand Prix for the team’s first scoring finish of the season.
The result, a career best for the 22-year-old German driver who missed the first two races due to a back injury, left struggling former champions McLaren as the only team yet to score.
”It is very important for the morale of the team,“ principal Monisha Kaltenborn told Reuters. ”We did have very high hopes when we came into the season, the car was not there where we expected it to be.
“(The) Aero (department) has done a good job here. It’s the first step because we only got very small bits and pieces (for updates) here but we already got very positive feedback.”
Sauber, who are using 2016 Ferrari engines before switching next season to McLaren’s current partners Honda, scored in only one race last year.
That ninth place for now departed Brazilian Felipe Nasr in the penultimate race at his home Interlagos circuit was enough to secure them 10th in the championship, ahead of Manor who folded soon after.
Eighth was Sauber’s best result since Nasr finished sixth in Russia in October 2015.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar