Sauber launches C23 in Salzburg

Sauber launches C23 in Salzburg

Sauber unveiled the C23 in Red Bull's Hangar 7 at Salzburg airport on January 12th and celebrated its ten year anniversary in partnership with the energy drink manufacturer. The initial presentation took place under the vast glass and steel tubed...

Sauber unveiled the C23 in Red Bull's Hangar 7 at Salzburg airport on January 12th and celebrated its ten year anniversary in partnership with the energy drink manufacturer. The initial presentation took place under the vast glass and steel tubed dome of Hangar 7, surrounded by previous Sauber race cars and modern art sculptures and paintings. While the new C23 was absent until the evening party, team principal Peter Sauber, technical director Willy Rampf, drivers Giancarlo Fisichella and Felipe Massa and test driver Neel Jani, and Sauber Petronas head of powertrain Osamu Goto started the proceedings.

Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
"It's been ten years since Sauber was first presented with the Red Bull logo," said Peter Sauber. "In 1995 we signed our first agreement. When we separated from Mercedes it was vital for our existence to find a partner and I thank Dietrich Mateschitz for his friendship, which has survived the stress of business and the differences of opinion."

"Formula One is tough today with the manufacturers presence: three teams face seven works teams which is not easy. To the contrary, it's an enormous challenge but it is one we accept due to hard working staff and the support of our sponsors."

Felipe Massa returns to Sauber, the team he debuted in F1 with in 2002, after spending a year as Ferrari test driver. "I'm really happy to be back," said the 22 year-old Brazilian. "The team hasn't changed a lot, maybe some new people, but I know everyone is really professional. I'm here to do my best and I have learned a lot in my year as test driver."

For Italian Giancarlo Fisichella, 2004 is his eighth year in F1 and his first as a Sauber driver. "It is good," he stated. "I tested already in Barcelona and it's a really professional team. I already feel very good and at home with Sauber as a team. I'm happy about that and looking forward to the new season."

Neel Jani, Osamu Goto, Felipe Massa, Peter Sauber, Giancarlo Fisichella and Willi Rampf.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
Before the evening show when the new car made its appearance, a video display of the C23 was narrated by Rampf, who outlined the 2004 challenger. "We start in May, after a few races when we can see any potential strengths and weaknesses," he described the start of the process of building a new car. "In May and June we look at the existing car and also the development of the new car. The C23 is a development of the C22 as there are no major changes."

"We make the aerodynamics more efficient and the car more compact. The design objectives were mainly the rear of the car -- the side aero package is more compact and especially the rear. The regulations now mean we can only have two rear wing elements instead of three and we compensate by changing the engine cover. After introducing the twin-keel nose in 2000, we are reverting back to a single keel for 2004."

Goto, head of powertrain, concluded in regard to the new engine regulations: "Some components can last well but higher mileage needs more developments. The relationship with Ferrari is a major boost, not just from the performance but for the complete package of the car. This new unit has a significantly improved performance."

Technical specifications:

Official designation: Sauber Petronas C23
Chassis: Carbon fibre monocoque
Engine: PETRONAS 04A
Suspension: Upper and lower wishbones (front and rear), inboard springs and dampers, actuated by pushrods (Sachs Race Engineering)
Brakes: Six piston calipers (front and rear), carbon pads and discs (Brembo)
Transmission: Longitudinally mounted, seven-speed gearbox (Ferrari), carbon clutch (AP)
Chassis Electronics: Magneti Marelli
Tyres: Bridgestone
265/55R13 front
325/45R13 rear
Wheels: OZ
12J-13 front
13.7J-13 rear
Dimensions: Length 4600 mm
Width 1800 mm
Height 1000 mm
Front track 1470 mm
Rear track 1410 mm
Wheelbase 3120 mm
Weight: 600 kg (drivable car including driver, tank empty)

Engine
Official designation: PETRONAS 04A
Number of cylinders: V10
Cubic capacity: 2997 cc
Cylinder block: Aluminium
Number of main bearings: 6
Number of camshafts: 4 OHC
Camshaft Drive: interlocked
Number of valves: 40
Valve mechanism: pneumatic
Ignition system: Magneti Marelli
Injection system: Magneti Marelli

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Felipe Massa , Peter Sauber , Neel Jani
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber