Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez have this morning unveiled the new Sauber C30-Ferrari at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, setting for the first of the F1 pre-season tests, which begin tomorrow.
The two drivers showed-off the 2011 car which Sauber hope will not only be more reliable than the 2010 model but will also banish a number of other weaknesses.
The ban on double diffusers means that the aerodynamics on the C30 differ greatly from last year’s C29 and the car also incorporates the new driver-adjustable rear-wing and KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), which is supplied by Ferrari, who also provide the transmission system and the engine.
Eponymous team principal Peter Sauber, speaking at the launch this morning, summarised the performance targets for the C30:
“We want to finish in the points regularly and clearly improve our position in the FIA Formula One Constructors' World Championship.” He goes on to elaborate: “Two thousand and ten marked the 41st year of our company history and one of the most difficult. But we managed to overcome these difficulties in the second half of the season. We implemented some well-considered structural changes.
“The appointment of James Key as Technical Director already bore fruit last season, and he is now in charge of development of the Sauber C30-Ferrari.
“At the same time, we have managed to secure our business foundation for the 2011 season. In these economically straitened times that is something we can be proud of too.”
Technical director James Key explained the process of designing this 2011 model: “In order to take a step forward in 2011, we were already systematically tackling the C29's weaknesses over the last season – and we've made progress. The insights we gleaned were taken into account when the concept for the new C30 was being drawn up.
“Since some of the changes decreed by the regulations – particularly regarding the tyres – can only be analysed out on track, it was important for us to build, firstly, a fundamentally predictable car and, secondly, one that would provide sufficient flexibility to respond to ongoing findings at the track and during further development stages.”
The C30 that appears on the grid in Bahrain at the first race of the season will have a new aerodynamic package to the one shown at the launch today. The two race drivers, along with test driver Esteban GutiÃ¨rrez, will be developing the C30 over the four pre-season test sessions.
Looking ahead to next season, Kobayashi is hoping to build on the strong performances from last season and avoid any unnecessary accidents. “My rookie season is now behind me,” said the Japanese driver. “I learned a lot, gained a lot of self-confidence, and my target for 2011 is not to make any mistakes.”
Also speaking at the launch, Sergio PÃ©rez, the rookie Mexican driver, knows that he has a lot to learn over the coming weeks and months. The 2010 GP2 runner-up enters Formula 1 with no illusions as to the pressure he is under:
“I'm aware how challenging Formula One is from both a driver's point of view and technically,” said PÃ©rez. “I've got a lot to learn, and in Kamui I have an excellent yardstick. My personal goal is to make steady progress. The support I'm getting back in my home country is huge, and I don't want to disappoint anyone over there either.”
Under slightly less pressure is his compatriot GutiÃ¨rrez. The GP3 champion will be stepping up to GP2 this season, as well as fulfilling duties to the Sauber F1 team. However, the 19-year-old still has his eyes on the top series, and is hoping to impress in pre-season testing. “I've still got a long way to go,” GutiÃ¨rrez said, “but ever since the two days of testing with Sauber, at the end of 2009 and the end of 2010, Formula One has been my goal.”