Sauber has unveiled its 2014 challenger, the C33, with the team’s Chief Designer Eric Gandelin saying a key element in the design process has been to build a car that can be adapted throughout the upcoming season.
Revealed in an online launch, the new car, which will once again feature Ferrari power, sports a nosecone solution similar to that seen on the McLaren MP4/29 and in the early images of the new Williams machine. The C33, which will be raced by Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez, retains last year’s grey livery .
With teams facing radically altered technical regulations, Gandelin said that development will be a key issue and that the C33 reflects this concern.
“The path we have followed with the design of the Sauber C33-Ferrari allows us maximum flexibility, so that we can react quickly,” he explained. “It is also clear that reliability will be an important factor in the first few races in particular. So this is an area which we have given very high priority.
“The radical changes to the technical regulations for 2014 mean that it’s even harder than usual to make predictions for the new season,” he added. “We know what kind of package we’ve put together here, but it is difficult to foresee what shape our rivals are in. The earliest opportunity to gain an impression of where the teams are in relation to one another will come during testing.”
Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn added that although the team ended 2013 strongly, following a troubled first half of the season, this year’s regulations mean that there is no guarantee of continued success.
“We have put a very challenging year behind us,” said Kaltenborn. “The first half of 2013 in particular was difficult for us, but the second half saw us making significant strides.
“Due to the radical changes in the technical regulations, predictions are simply impossible to make at this stage. Even more so than in previous years, any impression of how the teams stand against each other will only emerge once winter testing has been completed. That is also when we will announce our goals for the 2014 season.”
It will be an interesting battle between the team’s driver pairing, with Sutil swapping seats with Force India-bound Nico Hulkenberg and Gutierrez looking to establish himself after a mixed 2013 saw him take points just once – with an impressive seventh place at the Japanese Grand Prix.
“After six good years in the same team, it was time for me to look for a new challenge,” said Sutil. “I’m determined to have a successful future with the Sauber F1 Team and will do my bit to ensure that. In recent years the team has repeatedly demonstrated its potential, not least in the second half of the last season.”
For 22-year-old Gutierrez, meanwhile, this could be a make-or-break year. He will be expected to match Sutil for the duration of the season, picking up points where he could not last year and assisting his team in what will be a tight battle across the grid. However, the Mexican is confident that he can deliver.
“Last season I had a steep learning curve,” he said. ” I learned a great deal and I feel ready for the next step. The 2014 season will be a huge challenge on the technical front, which makes it all the more important to know the people you work with well. I will do everything I can to improve further and to support the team with all the resources I have.”