Sauber signaled the start of what is purported to be a bold new era in F1, with the launch of the C36, their 2017 car.
The livery is striking to say the least and has resulted in more positivity around the Sauber pre-season than has been seen in previous seasons. The blue, white and gold colour combination has reminded many of an era gone by, which is fitting for the 25th year tribute car.
Marcus Ericsson, who has been entrusted with another year with the team, took the car out in sunny Barcelona for Sauber’s official filming day and was happy with the car’s handling.
What do we know?
The 2017 regulations necessitated several changes to the cars, the interpretation of the application of these changes, as expected differ from team to team.
Sauber have utilised the 2016 Abu Dhabi Ferrari power train and explain that the aim is to achieve maximum durability of the powertrain.
A surprise is the direction toward a reduction in weight despite the over weight limit being increased for 2017. Sauber have explained that the radiators, side pods and like have been designed to be as slim as possible.
The point of this you may ask? Simply put the wider tyres (25% wider than in 2016) and the larger front and rear wings could lead to much more drag. Sauber have worked on reducing the drag coefficient by slimming the C36 as much as reasonably possible.
The 4 cylinder engine revs up to 15 000 rpm with a single turbo in each vehicle.
Sauber, with the welcome addition of new sponsors and Longbow Finance, have built the C36 from scratch and will be keen on seeing how Ericsson and Anto Giovinazzi get on with the car in pre-season testing. Giovinazzi is standing in for Pascal Werhlein, the new addition to the Sauber team for 2017, replacing Felipe Nasr, injured his back at the Race of Champions.
If positivity could be turned into points, Sauber are already in the pound seats (pun intended) already. For the first time in 3 seasons, there is a palpable feeling that Sauber will spring a surprise or two as only Sauber can.