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Sauber will bring up the rear, says founder

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Peter Sauber, the man who founded the eponymous team admits the Swiss outfit will likely bring up the rear of the field in 2017.

In a sense, the Hinwill-based squad should perhaps be grateful for its mere presence on the grid following its bail-out by investors last summer which avoided a terminal collapse.

"There are ten teams," he told the Swiss newspaper Sonntagsblick. "The initial position for Sauber is number ten."

"There are no miracles in Formula 1," he admits.

"When I look at the years after BMW, 2012 was the last really good season and after that it became difficult because of the lack of financial resources.

"During the development of the 2017 car, the time between May and September was very important and it was then that the funds were missing."

Its founder no longer has a vested interest in the team but Sauber admits that he won't be watching the team's performance from the sidelines without anxiety.

"I needed some time to process the separation from my company," he said.

"It is not easy and I have had sleepless nights. It was a real tightrope walk and a collapse was always possible.

"For me it was an extremely stressful situation with many unpleasant encounters and telephone calls."

Indeed, there were rumors that Peter Sauber and team boss Monisha Kaltenborn had fallen out.

"We have very little contact," he admits. "I still have contacts with some employees, but no office and I'm never there.

"They say I am the founder and they will use the Sauber name, which is important for the new owners. But overall, we made a clean break.

"It is better like that. So I have nothing to do with the company anymore."

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