2018 ’not ugliest F1 season’ - Vasseur
"Even the new start times will not turn F1 upside down"
Frederic Vasseur has played down two of the biggest controversies in F1 at present.
Many believe that the introduction of the ’Halo’ and the banning of ’grid girls’ means that 2018 could be a particularly ugly season at the pinnacle of motor sport.
"They are two different things," Sauber boss Vasseur told the Swiss newspaper Blick.
"The grid girls are replaced by grid kids and I like that," the Frenchman said. "And Halo is about safety, and in a serious accident we will be very grateful for it."
So when asked if Liberty Media is destroying the DNA of F1, Vasseur answered: "Nothing has changed on the track so far. Only in marketing.
"Even the new start times will not turn F1 upside down."
As for the Swiss team he leads, Vasseur said the Hinwil factory is working overtime to put the 2018 car together ahead of the first test in just under three weeks.
"We will be faster, but in 2017 we were far behind," said the Sauber team principal.
"We want to fight in the midfield but we must not forget that this is a long-term project."
Vasseur said 50 new staff are being added to the workforce of 420, amid great optimism about the new title sponsorship by Ferrari-linked Alfa Romeo.
"They identify with us and want to keep Sauber as a brand," he said. "It is probably the first time since the BMW time that Sauber has such a good opportunity."