Sauber has become the latest team to launch its 2015 car, releasing images of the new C34 ahead of its first test in Jerez.
After a disappointing season in 2014 without a single point, Sauber is hoping it can move back up the pecking order this year. The team has two new drivers in Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr, and the impact of the pair can already be seen in the sponsors adorning the C34. Nasr brings backing from Banco do Brasil, which has prominent advertising space on the sidepod.
The car itself sees yet another treatment for the new nose regulations this year, with a bulbous front nose section extending long and low to meet the requirements of the rules. The team said the changes to the nose have had a significant impact on the aerodynamic design of the rest of the car.
The engineering team has focused on three main areas with the C34: performance in slow corners, weight reduction, as well as braking stability in an attempt to right the wrongs of the C34 that often ran over the minimum weight limit for car and driver last year.
“We were able to gain a lot of experience during the course of the 2014 season, which will have an influence on the Sauber C34,” chief designer Eric Gandelin said. Parts will be added to the new car ahead of its race debut in Melbourne in mid March. “We will use the time up to Melbourne to ensure we’re as competitive as possible when we line up on the grid for the season opener,” Gandelin added.
“We have to improve, and be able to fight for championship points,” team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said. “I am delighted about our two new drivers who bring a breath of fresh air. Both are young, talented and highly motivated. On their way to Formula 1 both stood out through victories in Formula BMW and Formula 3. Both then finished this career progression off in the GP2-Series. While Marcus looks back to one season in Formula One, Felipe will have his rookie year in which he comes fully prepared due to his role as test and reserve driver at Williams last year. I feel confident with regard to our drivers.”
Once again, the Sauber will be powered by a Ferrari engine but the team said there had been significant chances to the architecture of the power unit for 2015. “The aim has been not only to increase the power from the turbocharged engine, but above all to optimise the car’s energy recovery and energy storage capability,” the statement said. “In terms of its concept, the engine is very much comparable with last year’s, but its architecture has changed significantly, necessitating numerous adjustments to the chassis.”