New Sauber ready for January

New Sauber ready for January

There may be little happening in the public eye as far as Formula One is concerned at the moment, but work goes on behind the scenes and Sauber hopes to have the C23 on track by January. The team's new wind tunnel is not yet up and running but ...

There may be little happening in the public eye as far as Formula One is concerned at the moment, but work goes on behind the scenes and Sauber hopes to have the C23 on track by January. The team's new wind tunnel is not yet up and running but Sauber hopes the 2004 chassis will benefit from it throughout next season.

Peter Sauber.
Photo by Sauber Petronas.
"I cannot say exactly," explained team principal Peter Sauber, of the current progress of the C23 in an interview with Sport1. "But we are on schedule. I think the new car will be ready in the middle of January."

So far the C23 has not had the benefit of the new facility but Sauber hopes it will be ready before too long: "The new car will be driven before the wind tunnel is operational, which will hopefully be in the middle of February," he said. "With the new wind tunnel we think we can improve the C23 substantially in the course of the year. If it runs well we can make a little progress before the first race."

As for the change of drivers for next season, Sauber said he had no problem with ex-drivers Nick Heidfeld and Heinz-Harald Frentzen, it was just time for a change. Enter Giancarlo Fisichella and Felipe Massa for 2004.

"I was happy with the two of them, there were no problems, but the contracts ran out," explained Sauber of Heidfeld and Frentzen. "Fisichella I have wanted for years, as I think he's very good, and I had the chance."

"With Massa, we were convinced of his speed when he drove for us in 2002. He just needed more experience and more technical understanding. I advised him to go to Ferrari as test driver (for 2003) rather than to Jordan, which was the alternative. I don't hide the fact that our closeness to Ferrari had a certain influence on our decision, but it brings us no particular advantage."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Nick Heidfeld , Felipe Massa , Peter Sauber
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Jordan