Beating Aston Martin makes a “huge difference” to Formula 1’s 2023 budget

The team secured the pole position in Abu Dhabi after taking equal points with Aston Martin, and winning in counting the race’s single best finish.

It was the best finish in the standings for Sauber’s run since a sixth-place finish in 2012, followed by eighth- and ninth-place finishes in the three years under the Alfa Romeo name.

With each position representing an estimated $10-12m in F1 bonus prize income, the result would allow the team to move up to a cost cap in 2023, which was not the case this year.

“It’s the best way for us to have a good winter, because everyone’s mood will be positive,” Wasser told Motorsport.com. “This is very important.

“Besides, it’s always important for me to hold this kind of fight for us with Aston Martin – in terms of the objective, it’s good. And it’s certainly going to be very beneficial also on the financial side.

“Because we’re below the cost ceiling, every single payment would be a huge difference. We’ll see next year, but it will definitely help.

“I know some teams said that with $2 million you can’t do anything, but with $10 million we’ll be able to do a lot!”

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo F1 Team

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo F1 Team

Photography: Alfa Romeo

Vasseur said the team did a great job of strategy in Abu Dhabi, with Guanyu Zhou and Valtteri Bottas tasked with holding the Aston Martins and keeping them from closing in on the points.

In the end, Lance Stroll finished 8th and Sebastian Vettel 10th, the latter unable to pass Daniel Ricciardo in the final laps.

“If we had a better performance, I think we would fight on our own for points,” said Vasseur.

“But with quali we had no other choice but to try and take a little bit of control of the situation through strategy, and we did it pretty well.

“They both played with the team a lot, and they did a great job managing the situation with Vettel and Stroll. And for sure we can thank them at the end when we see that Vettel is fighting with Ricciardo.”

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Vasser admitted he was nervous when Lewis Hamilton retired late in promoting both Aston cars.

“It was more than tight! I was very comfortable on the pit wall until Lewis’ problem. Both got better with one putt, and it got a little more difficult.

“And for the last two laps, I’ve been a big fan of Daniel! Surely if Vettel could overtake Daniel it would have been another story.

“But for us in the end it’s a great achievement, and also the best preparation for next year.”

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