Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Interlagos, 2016

Sauber to begin work on 2018 car “soon”

2018 F1 season

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Sauber’s technical director Jorg Zander says the team will begin concept work on its car for the 2018 F1 season soon.

The Swiss team endured an uncertain 2016 due to a shortage of funds. Investment from Longbow Finance put the team on a more secure footing, however it will use a year-old Ferrari power unit in 2017.

Zander, who has returned to Sauber after Audi closed its World Endurance Championship team, previously worked for Sauber when it was owned by BMW in 2006-07.

“Together with my technical team, I will start with the 2018 concept soon,” Zander confirmed.

“This won’t happen too early, as we want to conduct a fundamental analysis of where we stand at the beginning of the 2017 season. I want to have a good organised team with satisfied and motivated employees, which becomes a name in Formula One that can spring surprises once in a while.”

“I also want to look after confidence and long-term stability. From what I have seen so far, I am very optimistic that we can achieve that.”

Zander predicts reliability will be a decisive factor in the opening races, where Sauber could benefit from using a tried-and-tested engine.

“The power train is sure to play a big role,” he said, “but at the beginning of the season the chassis, as well as the reliability, will make the difference.”

“The car will have a lower top speed but can brake later due to the higher downforce,” he explained. “The braking distance therefore becomes shorter, which has an impact on the energy recovery.”

“There needs to be different driving profiles and strategies in order to pick up the limited energy of 2 MJ on the MGU-K. The aero concept will again be crucial when it comes to the performance.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “Sauber to begin work on 2018 car “soon””

  1. @keithcollantine I think you switched the dates in this sentence around by accident. :P
    “The Swiss team endured an uncertain 2017 due to a shortage of funds. Investment from Longbow Finance put the team on a more secure footing, however it will use a year-old Ferrari power unit in 2016.”

  2. Well, I certainly hope they will be able to do a solid job, so that we can see a team like Sauber have the odd shot at a podium when they have things going their way during a weekend.

    But it should at least mean that we could see this team be stable once again, and be part of F1 for years to come.

  3. Will Sauber survive to 2018?

    1. That’s the big question.

    2. If Manor is out of the equation, yes. They’ll be guaranteed the prize money and won’t have to worry about current performance. That’s probably why they are going to start work on 2018 so soon.

      1. That and the rumours of Sauber taking in WEH in exchange for Merc engines from 2018 on are probably true…

        With Manor gone, Mercedes can easily supply one more team and Sauber, which I guess has a reduced staff, would be wise to allocate a little more time to the changes needed in the chassi for a different power-train…

        1. Manor had the same deal with Mercedes and it didn’t save them…

          1. Don’t forget that there were 11 teams then and prize money only went to the top 10.
            Now there are only 10 teams everyone is guaranteed a piece of the pie at the end of the season no matter what.

        2. I dont beleave Sauber will run with Mercedes engine at all. Honda is more likely. An engine mannufacture can’t supplie engines to more than three teams (including them selves). That MRT was driving with Mercedes engines was an exception from FIA to put MRT on the grid.

    3. Yes, With Longbow as an owner they got a new healthy finance. You can se it in development and how they have increased their staff with interesting names.

  4. Not much confidence in this guy just looking at his Wikipedia profile. One year stints just about everywhere. He would have come cheap, master stroke if he’s any good though.

    It’s important to note that Longbow are another capital investment firm owning a back-marker, looking/hoping for value with a resale. I’d hardly call that secure footing rather than a hail-mary play, especially when it cost Sauber’s control of the company as president to get it.

    Combined with Kaltenborn’s comments of hoping Liberty don’t take the 3 years to make changes to the financial situation for the teams, it paints a grim outlook for the team if they do.

    1. Zander enjoyed a long and successful career in Formula 1, having worked at Toyota, Williams, Honda and Brawn GP, Audi Sport among others. I thing he’s quite capable

  5. Sounds good. Looks like they have a short and medium-term plan in place on the technical side. Now they need to progress on the commercial side as well. The car livery still looks empty, they badly need some additional sponsors.

    1. If the Bank of Brazil aren’t supporting them this year, they can change their livery away from this blue and yellow, which I think helps to make the car look sponsor-less

      However, if they keep the sponsor, I came across this livery concept which would look good and make it less bare https://instagram.com/p/BMoYpyhhRUI/

    2. The yellow will disapear, the yellow was connected with the bank who was Nasr sponsor. Sauber have by tradition been Blue and White. I believe we will see those colors again this year

      Sauber sponsors, for now
      Principal Partners
      Premium Partners
      Malbuner Pocket Sandwich
      Emil Frey AG
      MODO Eyewear

  6. Not surprised. With last years Ferrari engine, this year is basically a write off, might as well start working on 2018 before most others and try and get a head start.

    1. Looking at Scuderia Toro Rosso last year, even though they used a 2015 power unit they still did better than some of the teams with a 2016 power unit, so while it isn’t desirable that Sauber use a 2016 power unit, this isn’t a tragedy either.

      1. @drycust 2017 will be a year where aerodynamic performance will be a must. In order for your car to work properly under such characteristics you will need Poweeer (in your head you read this with the voice of Jeremy Clarkson, didn’t you?). All that extra drag will have to me moved using a under-powered PU, even if in the beginning we won’t be able to notice, they will struggle sooner rather than later. That is the thing about aerodynamics, if you want them to work you will need to go fast enough, I imagine that they won’t be even capable of taking the most out of in season development, because that PU won’t allow them to, and eventually they will have to compromise.

        Also STR have a bigger budget and are known to make quite good chassis, something Sauber hasn’t managed to do in the last few years.

        I agree with @hugh11, 2017 might be a transition year for them, as soon as they start focusing on 2018 the better will be their chances. And they already guaranteed a place in the top 10, so they already know there is money coming in.

        1. @drycrust

          sorry for the extra comment for the tag

    2. An new engine compared to an old are mabe 0,5 second per lap. And with the new regulations the manufactures will go for endurance not power. This year only 4 engines per car this year, 5 last yeas year and only 3 next year. There are more performance to find in the chassis than in the engine. Compare Mercedes and Manor or Sauber and Ferrari or Renault and RBR. The difference between all of them are the chassis, not the engine.

  7. Why are they allowed to use a 2016 Ferrari power unit? Only one revision of the power units is allowed to be homologated at the time. What happened to Toro Rosso in 2016 was then called “an exception” because it was too late for Ferrari to produce power units for another team. Ferrari has not reached the maximum number of teams for 2017, neither were they too late to sign a third team. Another favor from FIA to allow them to relegate at least one team as they used to do -not that Sauber can be a danger-?

    1. I believe Sauber wanted this as the 2017 engine will have different dimensions so they wanted to have a known engine and work mainly on the chassis. It would only be possible if Sauber requested this Ferrari could not force it on them. Haas are using 2017 engines and they are a far more likely threat.

    2. Well. The Ferrari engine manufacture have three teams to support so they cant supply for a forth team without getting FIA permission, the teams are: Scuderia Ferrari, Haas F1 Team and Sauber F1 Team. The 2016 Pu is strange cause I beleave they pay the same as for an 2017 PU. It might have been an understanding between FIA, Ferrari and Sauber cause of the short foundlings in the beginning of 2016. Im just guessing here. With an early start of developing the 2017 chassis Sauber could concentrate on the chassis alone and find it’s weaknesses, cause the Sauber chassis have almost been the same through 2014-2016 with no updates except a front wing and a new nose and mabe a few other small thing, but the chassis have been the same. .

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