The Sauber F1 Team have today released images of their 2017 machine, ahead of the official unveiling at a filming day in Barcelona on February 22.
The Sauber-C36 has an all-new blue and white livery, which has been created in celebration of the Swiss team’s twenty-five years in F1.
Just like fellow competitors Williams Martini Racing, Sauber have stuck with the thumb style nose up front, but have introduced a shark fin behind the airbox/cooling inlet to the rear. Larger bargeboards can be seen, as well as a rear-slanted wing, to accommodate the new 2017 rules. The radiator, sidepods and bodywork have all been slimmed down to promote greater emphasis on aerodynamic stability.
— Sauber F1 Team (@SauberF1Team) February 20, 2017
New Technical Director Jorg Zander, explained a little about the new design of the C36.
“Basically, big teams 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.”
Last season was a tumultuous one for Sauber, who struggled financially for the first part of the year. Their monetary woes stopped them from being unable to introduce any updates to the C35, which saw their performance suffer greatly, and at one stage it had looked like Sauber’s time in F1 was coming to a close. Thankfully, they were bailed out by a Swiss finance company just in time.
Now with solid backing behind them, the Hinwil based squad will be hoping for a much-improved season in 2017. One thing that may prove costly however, is their decision to use a year old Scuderia Ferrari engine.
Scuderia Toro Rosso tried the same idea last season and saw their performance tail off, as they were unable to make any PU updates whilst the other teams stepped up the gains.
Sauber believe they will be able to make up for any loss of power performance through having a supremely aerodynamic chassis, and so do not believe they will fall into the same trap, only time will tell on that front.
Sauber have signed up Pascal Wehrlein to partner Marcus Ericsson in their driver line-up this year, but unfortunately for the Swiss squad, following an accident at the Race of Champions last month, Wehrlein will not be available for the first test session in Barcelona, which gets underway on February 27.
So having seen the first pictures of Sauber’s 2017 challenger, let us know what your thoughts are in the comments section below.