Together with its new owner, Longbow Finance S.A., the Sauber F1 Team starts a new era. In the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Swiss team will again be competing with driver Marcus Ericsson and new arrival Pascal Wehrlein.
Following the official rollout of the new Sauber C36-Ferrari, the Sauber Group has the chance of a new beginning and can create a solid basis for a competitive and successful future. Formula One and its teams will again enter new territory based on the new technical regulations and rules in 2017.
Jörg Zander, Sauber’s new technical director, arrived at the high-tech factory in Hinwil in January 2017. The first thing he had to do was to get an overview of the technical prerequisites and to familiarise himself with both the new and the old conditions – which he soon managed to do because he felt comfortable from day one.
Jörg Zander is a familiar face, returning to the Swiss team after having worked there from 2006 to 2007 as chief designer for the BMW Sauber F1 Team.
Work on the new car was focused on reducing the drag coefficient (due to the wider tyres) to a minimum as well as achieving a significant weight reduction, by means of the new roll structure, for instance.
In certain areas of lightweight design, the team went to the limits. The aero concept includes the optimisation of the front and rear wings and the underfloor. The radiator, sidepods and bodywork were designed to be as slim as possible. Clear progress was also achieved in terms of additional downforce. The key here is to keep downforce, which is generated via driving, and remain stable in various track sections.
The Sauber C36-Ferrari is a car which, due to the new technical regulations, has been redesigned from scratch. There is not a single part that could be adopted from its C35 predecessor. For the 2017 championship season, the Ferrari powertrain in the Abu Dhabi 2016 configuration will be used initially together with the C36.
A quick chat with then-Sauber F1 driver Felipe Nasr at an Edox event in Singapore.