Sauber drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr believe that the team is set to step forward at Spa as further updates arrive following the introduction of a new rear wing at Hockenheim
The Swiss squad, which has failed to score a point in the first 12 races of 2016, raced with a revised rear wing in the German Grand Prix, the first major update the C35 has had all season.
It follows the team’s takeover by the Longbow Finance group ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, which will allow the team to introduce a new aerodynamic package for the second half of the year.
Ericsson said that while the wing itself didn’t make a huge impact, he expects the rest of the improvements – which include a new front wing and floor – will make a big difference to Sauber’s level of competitiveness.
“It doesn’t make a big difference in the feel of the car, but there are some points of downforce in the new rear wing,” the Swedish driver told Motorsport.com.
“It’s not a massive step but it’s a step in the right direction.
“Hopefully for Spa we get the rest of the updates that, together with the rear wing, will bring us a bigger step: a new front wing, nose, hopefully a floor.”
Nasr, whose German Grand Prix was ended by a power unit issue, added: “It was a bit better. It’s not something that will solve all our problems, but it’s a small step forward.
“We’re still working on the package that’s scheduled to arrive at Spa, hopefully it will generate more downforce in the car.”
Ericsson is optimistic that the new package can bring Sauber into a position where it can challenge for points and overhaul Manor in the battle for 10th in the constructors’ standings.
“There are still many races to go this season, and even though we haven’t scored yet we need to believe we can and works towards that,” he said. “That’s the goal.
“If we don’t have a goal we might as well stay at home, we’re going to fight and do our best to improve.
"[Manor scoring a point] is just more motivation to work even harder.”