Sauber expects wind tunnel benefits

Sauber expects wind tunnel benefits

Sauber invested a lot of money in its new wind tunnel and is expecting to see some results from it as the season goes along. Despite a minor setback recently, the facility should be aiding the development of the C23 by the time Formula One arrives...

Sauber invested a lot of money in its new wind tunnel and is expecting to see some results from it as the season goes along. Despite a minor setback recently, the facility should be aiding the development of the C23 by the time Formula One arrives in Europe. A 60% scale model of the car can be used in the wind tunnel, as well as the racecar itself for short simulations, which saves spending expensive time on the test track.

Felipe Massa.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.

Felipe Massa scored Sauber's first point of the season at the Malaysian Grand Prix, finishing eighth, and the Brazilian hopes for more to come. "The most important single factor of a modern F1-car are aerodynamics," said Massa in a recent online chat organized by team sponsor Credit Suisse.

"Three weeks ago we started working in our new state-of-the-art wind tunnel and we expect than we can benefit from it as the season is progressing."

"We hope that we can already make some progress at the next race (Bahrain). However, in the beginning, these improvements will be minor. But don't forget, our competitors are also working hard and not standing still."

This week Sauber experienced a short circuit in one of the wind tunnel transformers, repairs of which may take about a week. "It was not a big problem," Massa explained. "But unfortunately we will not be able to work in the wind tunnel for one week due to the damages from a small fire, that was quickly contained. One week is a long time in F1."

There have been a lot of comments about the C23 being very similar to last year's Ferrari -- some wonder why Sauber isn't doing better with a Ferrari engine and gearbox this season, but Massa pointed out the obvious difference. "We don't have the same resources with regard to budget and manpower as the top team."

Obviously Massa's goal, like any driver, is to win the title, but for this year his and Sauber's aims are realistic. "I hope I will win one day, but naturally can't say when," he commented. "I think our goal is to finish in the top six in the Constructors' Championship and hopefully I can finish in the top 10 in the Drivers' Championship. That would be fantastic."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari , Sauber