There was a lingering sense of underachievement about Sauber in 2012.
The team produced the best car in their history, came closer than ever before to a win and took four podium finishes.
But there was the feeling that so much more should have been possible.
Sauber facts and stats
- Debut season:
Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez
- Test/reserve driver:
- Team principal:
- 2012 position:
This was a car that qualified on the front row at Spa and on the second row at Suzuka, two of the greatest challenges for a racing car.
So it was mystifying that at the two races immediately following those two events, the Sauber drivers could do no better than ninth and 12th on the grid.
The team were careful how they put it, but the strong implication was that they felt the drivers were not consistently getting the best out of the car.
In signing Nico Hulkenberg - undoubtedly one of the rising stars of the new generation - they hope to gain that consistency.
If he delivers it, and Sauber can effectively develop last year's car - which the team felt was faster than the similarly engined Ferrari - Sauber could be in for a very strong year.