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Whipping Sauber into shape

As mentioned in F1 FOREIGN REPORT a month ago, Swiss racing manager Max Welti has been talking with a variety of F1 teams in recent weeks. The 42-year-old Swiss has now decided to join Sauber as Senior Vice President of the company. In effect, this means he is taking over the running of the racing team from Peter Sauber.

Sauber and Welti have long-established links dating back to the early 1980s when Welti was Sauber's sporting manager, playing an important role in forging the successful alliance between Sauber and Mercedes-Benz. In 1990, Welti left Sauber to run the Porsche F1 project; but the engine was never competitive and Porsche withdrew, leaving Welti to organize the one-make Porsche Cup series.

Welti's arrival is a clear sign that Sauber knows that he must improve his team if he wishes to continue to have factory engines in the future.

Sauber's current problems with its chassis recently caused F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to suggest that Sauber and Simtek should merge because the struggling British team has no money but a good car, and Sauber has a better budget but a poor car. The idea was not a success.

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