Sauber to halt 2018 car development

Sauber will stop development of its 2018 Formula 1 car next week, the team having decided to make an early switch to focus on next year's challenger.

Sauber to halt 2018 car development
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37
Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37
Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber

Although the team is making rapid progress this season, and is just three points behind Toro Rosso for eighth in the standings, the outfit feels its long-term future is better served in doing as much as it can for 2019.

Team principal Frederic Vasseur believes that the aerodynamic rule changes coming for next year, which include a heavily revised front wing, means there is a chance of making good gains if it gets a head-start over the opposition.

"At one stage, and that stage is next week, we will stop the development of the car because the new regulations are an opportunity for us," said the Frenchman.

"At least I consider the new regulations an opportunity, and we have to be fully focused on next year.

"So we will fully stop 2018 next week but we are focused on 2019 for months."

Although the decision to switch full focus means the second half of the campaign could be difficult, Vasseur has no worries about the situation.

"You don't have to be scared about this. It is the wrong attitude," he said. "You have to be fully focused and trust your capacity.

"And if we are able to catch up today, starting at the back, we must have to be able to do the same next year starting with everybody on the same level."

Additional reporting by James Roberts and Adam Cooper

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