2011 F1 Cars – Sauber C30

The Sauber F1 Team launched their 2011 challenger, the C30 at Valencia a day before the first testing session of the season began. After a tough winter in 2009, where the team had to deal with the BMW-pullout, concerns over its chances of survival and lack of funding, the Hinwil based squad put up a respectable show to end up 8th in the Constructors’ standings. But now, with the team looking to take on the midfield fight to Force India and Williams, they need a strong start to the 2011 season, and for that, they need the C30 to be quick and reliable.

Reliability – or rather, the lack of it – was the C29’s stumbling block. Thankfully, the team has an able Technical Director in James Key, who did a good job towards the end of last year. With the team members familiar with the KERS technology, and highly talented drivers at the wheel, Sauber can fancy its mid-field chances this year, assuming they can balance reliability and speed well.

Here are some pictures from the Sauber launch :

One of the striking aspects about the new car is the shape of the sidepods. Previously a quarter circle design, it is now a distinctly rectangular section, no doubt necessitated by the arrival of KERS. The front section remains a high-nose design as it was on the C29, but the nose-cone is quite slender compared to the old car, and also features a noticeable scoop towards the cockpit. The overall design seems to be more evolutionary than revolutionary, for except the sidepods there is no other dramatic change in the features of the car.

Some of the subtle differences are the airbox supports, now with four pillars instead of two, the lack of a shark fin engine cover, and the front suspension layout. As we saw on the Ferrari F150, the push rod rear suspension has been retained by the Sauber team as well. Though the floor, barge boards and front wings are no different from the outgoing car, it makes little sense for the team to reveal its complete aerodynamic package before the final test, hence it is to be expected.

Last year’s Sauber C29 was quick in winter testing, but ultimately it failed to meet expectations and was hampered by several reliability problems from the start. Williams and Force India will be quite strong this year I expect, and Sauber will have to dig deep to beat its mid-field rivals.


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