Sauber launches 2017 car

By on Monday, February 20, 2017

Sauber F1 Team presented its 2017 contender during an online launch on Monday. The official rollout of the new C36-Ferrari will take place at the first winter tests in Barcelona next week.

In the 2017 Formula One World Championship the Swiss team will be competing with Marcus Ericsson and the new arrival Pascal Wehrlei.

Under the new ownership, the Sauber Group has the chance of a new beginning, and can establish itself and can create a solid basis for a competitive and successful future.

CEO and Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn is looking forward to exciting times: “Together with Longbow Finance S. A., we have great opportunites to be competitive again and to return to previous successes in Formula One. We want to position ourselves with a new approach, and we have already taken the first steps in order to build a solid foundation for the future.

Despite the fact that Formula One and its teams will again enter new territory based on the new technical regulations and rules in 2017, the Sauber F1 Team’s expectations are straight to the point: “We clearly have to improve,” says Monisha Kaltenborn.

“With the Sauber C36-Ferrerai we have a solid basis as well as the resources to further develop the Sauber C36-Ferrari through the season. This will be important to establish in mid-field.”

The work on the concept of the new car was focused on reducing the drag coefficient (due to the wider tyres) to a minimum as well as achieving a significant weight reduction, for instance by means of the new roll structure. In certain areas of lightweight design the team went to the limits. The aero concept includes the optimization of the front and rear wings and the underfloor. The radiator, the sidepods and the bodywork were designed to be as slim as possible. Clear progress was also achieved in terms of additional downforce. The key here is to keep downforce, which is generated via driving, and remain stable in various track sections.

Sauber’s new technical director Jörg Zander explains the changes in the development procedure: “We put greater emphasis on aerodynamic stability as opposed to maximizing downforce.

“Basically, big teams also have an advantage when it comes to major changes in the regulations, but when the cards are reshuffled new opportunities always present themselves as well. The Sauber C36-Ferrari is wider and lower, with wider tyres making the car look more muscular than last year’s model, the C35. Practically just by looking at it, one can tell the speed the new car has increased as a result of more downforce and shorter braking distances – measured against lap time, not top speed – it is written all over its face. The width of the front tyres has increased from 245 to 305 mm, that of the rear tyres from 325 to 405 mm.

“Something that has not changed compared with 2016 is the fact that the wider tyres will be able to decide races as well when it comes to how they work and harmonise with the car’s setup and with respect to wear. With the tyres one might be able to mask deficits and get development concepts to work better.”

The Sauber C36-Ferrari is a car which, due to the new technical regulations, has been redesigned from scratch. There is not a single part that could be adopted from its C35 predecessor. In 2017, the Ferrari powertrain in the Abu Dhabi 2016 configuration will be used initially together with the C36. One of the changes this season is that only four of the six units of a powertrain can be changed without penalty. In the next few years the number will be further reduced, which is why the manufacturers are going to put greater emphasis on the durability than on the top speed of their units.


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