It’s no secret that Sauber’s result in Italy was unexpected. The quick turnaround from being uncompetitive to sensational that Sauber had in Italy was a welcome sight in a season that has largely been painful, both competitively and financially.
Singapore, then, offers up the perfect opportunity for Sauber to build on this newfound momentum, especially considering the vast differences between the low-downforce nature of Monza and the high-downforce nature of the Marina Bay circuit in Singapore.
Sauber has struggled on the tracks requiring higher downforce in recent years, so starring in Singapore is an unlikely scenario, but scoring points definitely needs to be on the team’s radar. A points scoring finish next weekend will ensure that Sauber are strong enough to make a charge for seventh in the constructors’ championship and the all-important prize money that comes along with it.
A good performance at the extreme ends of track configuration could make the trips to more conventional circuits, like Suzuka in Japan and COTA in Austin, TX, that much better.
Again, though, it will be an uphill task. Force India always runs well in Singapore, and their record on street circuits is far better than Sauber’s, so they will have tough competition.
Pastor Maldonado in the Williams could also pose a threat. In the much more competitive 2012 Williams, the Venezuelan started on the front row and would have finished in the top-5 had it not been for a hydraulics leak. Even though this year’s car is far more uncompetitive, he can’t be counted out to spring a surprise.
Sauber has a lot to prove next weekend. With Nico Hulkenberg on the radar of a lot of the top teams, especially Lotus, and Esteban Gutierrez’s future in doubt as he remains pointless in 2013, it is paramount that at least one of them breaks into the top-10 next Sunday. The rest of Sauber’s season, and the futures of their drivers, could hinge on a strong result on the streets of Marina Bay.