A famous television character once said “I love it when a plan comes together”, and the Sauber F1 team would be feeling as if their plan is slowly coming together with the appointment of a new technical director, a strong showing in Mexico and a “home-coming” at this weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Brazil is home to both driver Felipe Nasr and Sauber’s sponsor partner, Banco do Brazil, making the penultimate race of the 2016 season something of a home-coming – one at which they hope to go one position better than in Mexico, where a resilient Marcus Ericsson brought home the C35 in 11th place, just one place out of the points.
Interlagos is a beloved track to the F1 community, due in large part to the technical nature of the circuit which demands both engine power along the two straights and precision braking through the tighter sections. The ever-present possibility of rain makes it a tricky task, but does raise the possibility of points for the taking for both Sauber drivers.
The Autodromo José Carlos Pace requires specific key set up areas that Sauber have identified as engine power, traction and braking performance. The hard tyre makes a return to the Brazil after three years which will bring the possibility of fewer pit stops, weather providing of course.
Both drivers are using the same tyre compounds: one hard, five medium and seven softs, but as the last few races have shown there should be different strategies for both men. Nasr especially will be hoping for a better run of things at home, after the struggles of late.