Sauber drivers Kamui Kobayashi and rookie Sergio Pérez have taken the wraps off of the new Sauber C30 Ferrari in the Valencian pitlane. The car is a clear development of last year's C29 but the team have tried to eliminate weaknesses of the previous contender.
Two thousand and eleven sees the Sauber F1 Team embark on its 19th Formula One season. Leaving behind the upheavals of 2010 that followed the metamorphosis from a works to a private team, the aim is to present itself in 2011 with renewed stability.
Team Principal Peter Sauber outlines the targets: “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.”
The aim is for the Sauber C30-Ferrari not just to prove more reliable than its predecessor; there were a number of other weaknesses to be banished as well. One of the overriding targets is to improve aerodynamic efficiency, low-speed cornering, mechanical grip and to gain more flexibility in suspension tuning.
The new technical regulations certainly presented the engineers with a tricky assignment, since the ban on double diffusers fundamentally alters the car’s aerodynamic concept. Another tough challenge was the switch to Pirelli tyres, which meant the engineers had to make decisions during the concept phase before the teams had a chance to test the tyres out on track. Further changes stipulate a ban on the F-duct and the adjustable front wing. Instead, the rear wing may now be adjusted by the driver, and the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) is once again available to run.
The striking visual features of the Sauber C30 are a raised front, slender waist, compact rear, new rollhoop and downward-sloping engine cover. Propelling the car as before is the Ferrari 056 engine, while power delivery is courtesy of a new Ferrari transmission. The KERS also comes from the Maranello factory.
Technical Director, James Key, summarises: “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.”
One thing is clear: the status of the car at the rollout in Valencia on 31st January 2011 is only the start. As part of the development programme, the team will be fitting the C30 with a new aerodynamic package before the curtain raiser in Bahrain.