The well-known Japanese multinational NEC is a new sponsor of the Sauber team.
The prominent blue branding of the Tokyo-based giant on the Swiss team’s C30 car was not present at the recent Barcelona test.
That branding debuted on the car at the weekend, when up to 200,000 Mexicans turned out to cheer rookie Sergio Perez for a street demonstration event in Guadalajara.
An image of the newly NEC-branded Sauber is also prominently displayed on the Hinwil based team’s official website.
The NEC logo is also present in the website’s ‘premium partners’ section, but the synopsis says only that “More information will follow soon”.
Sauber’s drivers for the 2011 season are Japanese Kamui Kobayashi as well as Mexican Perez, who is linked with new team sponsors Telmex and the associated mobile network Claro.
But despite his team’s clearly better-funded prospects for 2011, boss and owner Peter Sauber is not willing to guess the likely pecking order.
He pointed out in an exclusive column for Blick newspaper that, after the cancellation of the Bahrain test, Melbourne will be the first time the new cars will be running in higher temperatures.
“Naturally, everyone is trying at the moment to assess the balance of power,” he wrote in the Swiss newspaper, “but these predictions are to be treated with great caution.
“First, the individual drivers are running very different programmes, and secondly the cars are going to change quite a lot – especially aerodynamically – before the first race.
“After the next Barcelona test we can make a reasonably meaningful assessment, but a truly reliable picture won’t come until the second race in Malaysia, because Melbourne is not a very representative track,” added Sauber.
© RIF | GMM