Sauber F1 team's 2011 contender, C30-Ferrari, revealed at Valencia
The Swiss Sauber F1 Team has presented their new C30 to the media today, during a short ceremony at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia, Spain. Last year Team Principal and team owner Peter Sauber presented an almost white car, without any sponsor logos. This year, although the car is still predominantly white, Sauber managed to attract new sponsors for the 2011 season. The new sponsors also have secured the future of the team. "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," Peter Sauber during the unveiling of the new car.
New on the car are the logos of Telmex, Telcel and Claro, according to the Sauber statement, all three brands belong to America Movil, the Central and Latin American telecommunication group. Sauber about this year's target, "We want to finish in the points regularly and clearly improve our position in the FIA Formula One Constructors' World Championship."
A closer look at the Sauber C30
The first thing that becomes obvious is the very high raised pointy nose, while the front of the cockpit looks very similar to the Red Bull 2010 design. The back of the car is compact and slender compared to last year, a feature we see on all 2011 cars. The engine cover doesn't have the enormous shark fin anymore, many fans will be pleased to see that specific design feature has gone. Again the ban on the double diffuser and F-Duct, have posed the engineers for several problems, and the new Pirelli tyres are still an uncertain element regarding the performance of the car.
With the C30 Sauber aims for more reliability, and the design team had iron out other weaknesses its predecessor the C29 had. To gain more flexibility in the tuning of the suspension, Sauber had to improve the aerodynamic efficiency, low-speed cornering and mechanical grip.
Sauber's Technical Director James Key about the new C30, "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."
Key also had to implement the 2011 regulation changes, which was a difficult task. "Since some of the changes decreed by the regulations -- particularly regarding the tyres -- can only be analyzed 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. " he explained.
The Sauber C30 will be powered by the Ferrari 056 client engine, and the transmission and KERS system are also made by Ferrari. Sauber also made it clear they will keep up with the current developments, and a new aerodynamic package is already planned ahead of the season-opener in Bahrain.
Drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez
Mexican Sergio Perez has brought the sponsoring of several Mexican companies to the Sauber team, sponsorship deals which will bring financial stability for the Swiss Hinwill-based team. The new sponsorships are reportedly worth around $20 million over a 2-year period. Sauber last week also secured the sponsorship of the Jose Cuervo Tequila brand, which is prominently visible on the car's nose and side pods.
The 21-year old Mexican rookie, who was runner-up in last year's GP2 Series, has quite a task ahead of him. "I'm aware how challenging Formula One is from both a driver's point of view and technically," the young Sauber driver said. "I've got a lot to learn, and in Kamui [Kobayashi] I have an excellent yardstick. My personal goal is to make steady progress. The support I'm getting back in my home country is huge, and I don't want to disappoint anyone over there either," he commented.
Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi, rewarded Rookie of the Year 2010, has already proved he's made out of the right race stuff, has surprised friend and foe and has made a name for himself with his daring and cheeky overtaking maneuvers in 2010. The 25-year old driver had his rookie season last year, and Sauber expects he is able to play a leading role in the development of the car. Kobayashi is ready for 2011, "My rookie season is now behind me. I learned a lot, gained a lot of self-confidence, and my target for 2011 is not to make any mistakes."
Sauber employs a second Mexican driver: 19-year old Esteban Gutierrez is the team's test and reserve driver. He convincingly won the 2010 GP3 Series, and will be racing in the supporting GP2 series this year. Gutierrez about his role at the Sauber team, "I've still got a long way to go, but ever since the two days of testing for Sauber at the end of 2009 and 2010, Formula One is my goal."
Sauber is optimistic ahead of 2011
Peter Sauber has had a difficult 2010 season, and barely managed to save his team after BMW left the sport at the end of 2009. "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," an optimistic Sauber today said. And added, "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."
The Sauber C30 will have to prove what it can do on track, and tomorrow, Tuesday, Kobayashi will be driving the car, and Perez will be behind the wheel on Wednesday and Thursday.