The new Sauber C24 had its official roll out at Valencia today and completed 64 laps with Felipe Massa behind the wheel, setting a best time of 1:12:080. The car, the first to be designed using Sauber's new wind tunnel, featured an unusual front...
The new Sauber C24 had its official roll out at Valencia today and completed 64 laps with Felipe Massa behind the wheel, setting a best time of 1:12:080. The car, the first to be designed using Sauber's new wind tunnel, featured an unusual front wing configuration and overall is visually a more streamlined chassis than its predecessor.
"The fact that the team gave me the chance to do the baptism of our new car shows me that they put a lot of confidence and trust in me, which fills me with pride and makes me very happy," said Massa.
"I concentrated on giving as many comments on the car as possible to allow us to improve on the set-up, which we did quite a bit over the day. I think the C24 is really reliable, which will be an even more important issue this season."
"Running nearly 70 laps without major problems gives me an optimistic and positive feeling about the car. I believe we had a good start, although we will only see in Melbourne where we are."
Technical director Willy Rampf was satisfied with the first outing of the car. "The scheduled functionality and system tests such as cooling and electronics checks went well and we were able to get initial impressions of the car balance after the first set-up changes," he said.
"The only problem we experienced was an overheating of the bodywork around the exhausts, but this was solved pretty quickly and we could continue to work according to plan. Overall things went well and I'm quite happy with the roll-out of the C24."
The new regulations for 2005, including a higher front wing, the rear wing positioned slightly further forward and lesser diffuser height, all had to be taken into consideration for the design of the C24.
"The sum total of these measures has reduced downforce by over 20 per cent," Rampf explained. "Of course, we are aiming to recapture as much of this downforce as possible. However, in addition to maximum downforce it is also important to achieve high levels of aerodynamic stability."
Naturally, the team is aiming to move closer to the front of the field this season. "I am confident that the Sauber Petronas C24 will be competitive, thus moving us closer towards our objective of further reducing the gap between ourselves and the front runners," said Rampf.
Massa will continue at Valencia on the 15th, with teammate Jacques Villeneuve taking over the driving duties on the 16th.
Sauber C24 technical specifications
Official designation: Sauber Petronas C24
Chassis: Carbon-fibre monocoque
Engine: Petronas 05A
Suspension: Upper and lower wishbones (front and rear), inboard springs and dampers, actuated by pushrods (Sachs Race Engineering)
Brakes: Six-piston calipers (Brembo), carbon pads and discs (Brembo, Carbone Industrie))
Transmission: ongitudinally mounted, seven-speed gearbox (Sauber), carbon clutch (AP)
Chassis electronics: Magneti Marelli
Length: 4580 mm
Width: 1800 mm
Height: 1000 mm
Front track: 1470 mm
Rear track: 1410 mm
Wheelbase: 3100 mm
Weight: 600 kg (driveable car, including driver, tank empty)