At the start of its 2002 campaign, Team Sauber Petronas is determined to defend its excellent fourth place in the 2001 FIA Formula One World Championship for Constructors. "We know that we are aiming high," said Team Principal Peter Sauber at ...
At the start of its 2002 campaign, Team Sauber Petronas is determined to defend its excellent fourth place in the 2001 FIA Formula One World Championship for Constructors.
"We know that we are aiming high," said Team Principal Peter Sauber at the launch of the new Sauber Petronas C21 in Hinwil today. "Our fourth place in 2001 was an optimum result from our point of view. Nevertheless, we accept the challenge to do even better in our 10th year in the exclusive circle of Formula One."
The C21 is a completely new car that evolved from the successful C20. The principal aim of the development programme carried out under the auspices of Technical Director Willy Rampf and his team has been to maintain the excellent consistency and performance of the C20 while achieving an improvement in aerodynamic efficiency, not just in terms of the most favourable ratio of downforce against drag, but also in areas such as engine cooling. At the same time, however, weight reduction, a lower centre of gravity, superior torsional rigidity and further optimisation of the engine and gearbox packaging were also priorities.
Team Sauber Petronas continues its commitment to young drivers. Nick Heidfeld, the 24 year-old German, is joined in his second season with the team by 20 year-old Brazilian Felipe Massa, the reigning Euro 3000 series champion.
"Nick has displayed consistent high performance," said Peter Sauber. "In his third season in Formula One he will be able to stay in the first third of the ranking. Apart from his undeniable speed his strengths include constructive contributions to the development of the car and his always fruitful co-operation with the entire team."
Given his legendary success with young drivers, it was a relatively easy decision for Peter Sauber to sign on a promising rookie like Massa. "Felipe immediately convinced us during his test drives in September and October, 2001 in Mugello. It is a big step up from the Euro 3000 series to Formula One, but not to the extent that a talented driver could not manage it successfully. Last autumn, Massa showed that he is well capable of handling 800 bhp."
"The whole team is very motivated," Peter Sauber summarised. "We want to prove to ourselves and to our partners that we are capable of renewing our extraordinary results this year. Naturally, it has to be the aim of every Formula One team to win Grand Prix. However, it would be presumptuous to set such high goals for 2002. We rather strive to score as many points as possible and to defend our fourth place in the Constructors' Championship."