The fifth round of the 2017 Formula 1 championship beckons this weekend with the paddock descending on Barcelona for the start of the “European” leg of the F1 calendar. The trip to Circuit de Catalunya will see Sauber F1 introduce an aerodynamic upgrade to the car, as they hope to open their points tally at the Spanish Grand Prix.
The circuit should not spring any surprises given that its layout has been favoured for testing during the winter and both drivers are eager to see how the developments will pan out over the weekend as we head into busy period of the season:
“We will also bring first modifications to the car, which we will then enhance and further develop within the next GPs. I am looking forward to this weekend being confident that we make another step in the right direction.”
“Considering the race weekend, it will be important for us to introduce some new aerodynamic parts on the car. I am positive that we can further develop the car in order to make progress, and thus improve the performance on track.”
Despite being a well-known circuit, given the extensive testing that takes place there, Barcelona can be tricky to set up for, given the cornering speed differentials seen at different points on the circuit layout. Downforce is an area that Sauber had struggled with in 2016 and hope to improve upon this weekend as the circuit places great emphasis on this area. Both drivers have chosen to go with 2 Hard Tyres, 4 Medium and 7 Softs for the race weekend.
Although the team is at a slight power differential, running the 2016 Ferrari power unit, by introducing upgrades alongside the other teams in 2017, they are light years beyond the gloom that faced them at this point in 2016. While Sauber may not necessarily score any points this weekend, we think the positive steps at Hinwil will see them ending the European leg with points in the kitty.
By Rhea Morar
Photos courtesy of Sauber F1 Team.