With their Ferrari engine, many had Sauber down as dark horses this year - but five races in the Swiss squad have no points on the board. Nevertheless, Kaltenborn believes it is too soon for people to be writing off their 2016 prospects.
“Looking at our car from the chassis side, we do not yet have all the updates that we want to bring,” she told Formula1.com. “That will take a bit of time until that comes in - then you will see the real potential of that car.”
Kaltenborn also dismissed suggestions that their Ferrari power unit should mean guaranteed success, stressing that though work is needed on the Sauber chassis, its engine is by no means perfect.
“It is not all in the car - it is a mix of all,” she said. “Our engine supplier has done a good job, but they themselves have to see where they are standing compared to the other engine manufacturers at the moment. They also have a way to go.”
Sauber’s best 2016 finishes to date have been Ericsson’s 12th places in Bahrain and Spain. By contrast, the other Ferrari customer teams, Toro Rosso and Haas, have scored 26 and 22 points respectively, the former using the Scuderia’s 2015-spec engine.
Sauber were the only absentee from this week's test, the first of two in-season sessions, having opted not to participate since they did not introduce car updates over the Spanish Grand Prix weekend and because they have currently have no test driver in place.
Look out for an in-depth, exclusive interview with Monisha Kaltenborn on Formula1.com later this week.