Sauber New car unveiled for 2017 season
Sauber are the first Formula 1 team to reveal their new car for 2017.
The C36 gives the first indications of how teams will approach the major rule changes introduced this year aimed at creating faster, more dramatic cars.
The Swiss team, who finished 10th of 11 teams last season, have introduced a new blue, white and gold livery along with the new-look machine.
These are the first pictures of a 2017 car following Williams releasing graphics of their model last Friday.
Sauber’s new technical director Jorg Zander says he expected “a clear improvement compared to last year”.
The car looks superficially similar to the one used in 2016 but features the delta-shaped front wing, the lower, wider rear wing and bigger tyres.
Underneath, the cars feature a wider and revised floor area to enable them to generate much more downforce – predictions are of at least 30% increases, which will lead to vastly increased cornering speeds.
Zander, 53, joined Sauber after two years as technical chief of Audi’s successful programme in the World Endurance Championship.
He previously worked for the Toyota, BAR, Williams and Brawn F1 teams as well as Sauber.
Zander said: “Our objective is to establish ourselves in the mid-field. In comparison to last year, we will implement our development plan for the whole season, but we have to be realistic as our reference is at a lower level than the ones of our competitors.”
The car will be driven by Swede Marcus Ericsson, who enters his third season with the team, and German Pascal Wehrlein, a Mercedes protege.
Wehrlein is to miss the first pre-season test next week because of a neck injury sustained in the Race of Champions event in Miami in January. Ferrari third driver Antonio Giovinazzi will stand in for him.
Analysis – ‘consolidation is name of game’
The new Sauber features many of the design cues expected of the new 2017 cars – a tail fin [disguised in black], and reshaped front and rear wings.
Additionally, for the aficionados, the rules around aerodynamic appendages have been tweaked.
Expectations are not high, though. After a difficult few seasons, Sauber is now on a surer financial footing and consolidation is the name of the game for now.
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