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Sauber focus on ‘flexibility’ with C33: “We need to react quickly”
Posted By:   |  26 Jan 2014   |  5:38 pm GMT  |  54 comments

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.”

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I’ve commented up above the colour scheme. God this car looks dull in that heavy grey overcoat. Can’t they chose a brighter colour? Let’s face it if Sauber end up in midfield mediocrity then its likely the television director will forget Sauber are even racing!

Come on Sauber, chose a livery more daring! There again, they are Swiss, so pragmatism and conservatism is probably the order of the day.


Best looking so far but livery is dull. We need brighter colours overall, too many greyish schemes so far. But overall it’s much better the silly stepped nose.

Important hope that we will see more close racing, never mind if the cars are slower than the last of the V8s.


I don’t understand the rational behind just having a couple of small decals for the sponsors.

Sure NEC only pay for that much space, but if you can’t get anyone else, why not go big and show your appreciation for their continued support by making the team look like NEC Claro Sauber.

At least you don’t look like a loser that isn’t worth sponsoring – it’s got to make a difference when you approach potential sponsors. First impressions are everything in marketing.


Sauber have always built smart looking cars- but will it be fast enough ?- they certainly dont seem to be on the edge a others. Once Melb comes round all the cars will look different. I suspect noone is going to give away cooling solutions till they go testing at least!.

I also think manufacturer teams that can harness the heat energy better will have the more powerful units- so maybe some are trying to keep as much heat in as possible.

Cant wait to see the Merc something tells me this will be the pick of bunch!


It looks to me that Ferrari engine cars need less air for cooling and intercooling. The side pots inlets of both Ferrari and Sauber are very small compare to the others. Their engine air inlet s are also small. Interesting things maybe are hidden in the Ferrari engine camps. Any news from that front james?


The continued boring color of this car is uglier than any design decision.


How did Sauber design a car without a funky nose? Are they missing the boat or are they the smartest so far? We know they have the best taste when it comes to looks.


lets see if it is 1 sec faster than F14 T ?


Looks good, still awfull, but compared to the other teams, and especially the Fiat, it looks good.


“… and especially the Fiat …”

Nice one 🙂


“The path we have followed with the design of the Sauber C33-Ferrari allows us maximum flexibility, so that we can…”

..copy everyone else’s ideas once we’ve seen them.


It is an interesting strategic point. You have to wonder if they would actually hold back on spending during development to preserve budget for in-season upgrades.

The problem with that of course is whether teams can “bank” CFD and wind tunnel hours to give them the opportunity to use them more intensely at different times of the year.


Okay, what the 2014 regulations have done is separate the wheat from the chaff and from the looks of it, the midfielders have the best design teams as shown by the fierce Sauber car.

Yes, beautiful car the Sauber, with it’s futuristic nose for once again, the team has that night rider look about it which the dark colours usually convey i.e. seriousness or mystery.

Now with Sutil’s weight issues and Esteban’s inexperience, am not sure if this pairing would do the car justice especially if it turns out that the Ferrari engine is the strongest.

Anyway, winter testing will be very interesting and maybe for once, the teams won’t play too cagey as they try to figure out were they rank.


Also, will the Ferrari powered cars need to insert containers for the turbo power units? This could really screw up the teams that have designed there cars with the Ferrari power units in mind.

Of course it could also prove an advantage as those cars tails will potentially be slimmer and more aerodynamic.

Everything on an F1 car is as tight and slim as possible. It could really create havoc.


Can someone please shed some more light on this. James?


Great looking car. The best so far.


I like Sauber – but I don’t feel optimistic about their prospects. The car looks like last year’s – just modified in front – probably didn’t have the funds to design a new one. They look short on sponsors – where’s Sutil’s sponsors? Russian money? And then the driver line-up which I believe is one of the more mediocre of all the teams. I really hope I’m wrong!


A bit of continuity never hurt anyone – just ask McLaren.


Only side on pictures – clever Sauber. Very clever!


Phew, I thought I was the only person who noticed this, so far everybody is running on about the Force India and Sauber look so good …. and neither have shown head on, which is where everything else is ugly

Personnaly thing there have been uglier cars, you wont care after 2 races, and it’s nice to see differences, differant approaches


“and neither have shown head on, which is where everything else is ugly”

Apart from the Lotus, although that was a rendered image rather than a photograph.


So was I. They’ve been very clever with the angles.

Having said that, I’m beginning to think that the anteater-style noses – Williams, Sauber, and possibly FI – are actually going to be the least ugly (or maybe the easiest to get used to, simply because they’ll be the most common). Ferrari’s take is just ludicrous, and while I preferred McLaren’s at first, the more I look at it the less I like it.


I agree, I kept trying to look around the corner to catch a view of the front head on! LOL.


A feeling is creeping up on me that the Ferrari powertrain will be the one that is down on power compared to the others. Two things mak me feel that way.

first of all, both Ferrari itself and now Sauber both aim at reliability. I agree that it is very important, but reliability gets you to the finish line, not to the top step of the podium. Both teams seem to preach “to finish first, first you have to finish” and that just sounds like they aren’t going to be the quickest…

secondly, both the Ferrari and the Sauber have a slim read end design and small(er) sidepods. This seems like they’re easier on cooling the powertrain, which could mean that they haven’t taken their design to the limit, or at least as far as the competition. It could mean they have an aerodynamic advantage, but they don’t seem to mention any advantage there… Merely that they have used a conservative (Ferrari) and flexible (Sauber) approach…

it does mean I can’t wait for F1 ’14!!


The engine regs have been known for over 2 years. 1.6 liters and one turbo charger, 15,000 rpm limit, fuel injection at 500 bar, 100 kilograms max for fuel. The Ferrari unit has spent thousands of hours on the dyno. I doubt that it is lacking for power. The side pods are a better indicator that Ferrari has engineered a better cooling solution for the energy recovery systems thus far than has Mercedes, as we’ve seen from the large side pods on the McLaren and the Williams. I find this very encouraging for Alonso and Raikkonen. McLaren are at the mercy of what Mercedes are doing. Mercedes are building this unit for themselves and McLaren leaving them in a year makes them a lame duck for 2014. They would have been better off getting Honda to commit from the off.


Further, maybe people are forgetting the ERS is drawing power from the heat in the turbo and perhaps Ferrari have worked on the basis of retaining heat to draw maximum power.

It astonishes me how quickly people forget Ferrari build powerful engines- in the V8!era they were more powerful than Renault and certainly a match for Mercedes.


Don’t worry about Ferrari power unit. The cooling limits are marked by ERS batteries, not the engine itself. So, as the batteries specs are the same for everyone, narrow rear and smaller sidepods inatkes can only mean Ferrari have done a nice job with it. Also, it means better airflow to the difuser and less drag. I only see good news ;).


The tech furor developing should be interesting. Will the turbo and power units need to be in protective containers? If so, then Ferrari could be back to the drawing boards!


Great choice of picture for the headline! It looks as flexible as a banana!


That’s a new strategy they’ve developed to help them around corners, however for some reason they’ve found that right hand turns seem to trouble them.

Never-mind, I’m sure they’ll sort it out in testing 🙂


It certainly looks clean at the front. Hopefully it is quick for the team. The new noses on Sauber, McLaren and Force India sure are an improvement over the horrid stepped noses of the last two years.


I hate to say this, but it’s looking nicer than the Ferrari.


It’s not as if all F1 cars in the past where things of beauty… Some of the Ligiers were pretty awful.

Maybe we need a top ten ugliest cars list.

I vote FW26 Walrus for No.1


The Williams wasn’t ugly at all.


I would agree, the new Ferrari looks like bits of old tacked on with bits of new. Doesn’t look very flowing or smooth. The beluga whale nose is horrific!


I hate to say it, but it wasn’t difficult 😉


Best looking car so far!!!!!


McLaren’s grey Sauber’s grey Mercedes will be grey, very dull. I hope the racings more interesting than the colour choices.

If I set up a team I’d go for a neon blue, should liven things up a little bit. Any other suggestions?


Couldn’t agree more Rich. Grey is dull. Three greyish cars: even suller. I used to like the turquoise and splash of yellow on the Renault driven by Fernando en route to the 2005/2006 WDC. Sad it’s gone.

Sauber are Swiss, so how about red white a white cross in the middle like their national flag. Merc can keep its silver scheme as its the national colour of germany. As for McLaren, what about tangerine? They were founded by a Kiwi after all (orange is the national racing colour of New Zealand), and Bruce and Denny used to race in orange until Bruce sadly died and McLaren later switched to Yardley sponsorship. Wouldn’t it be great to see a red and white Saubs, and an orange Macca…….won’t happen though. Ah well, boring old grey is is then.



It looks like everyone is painting their car black. Even Ferrari is painting half of their car black. Same applies to Force India.


Could black be a better colour for making aero parts more difficult to see easily and copy?


Black is the new black


Camouflage, or noir if you want to be trendy.


I would go for Electric Blue with Black, that is the color of my Mini Cooper S! I get tons of comments on the color.


Prefer Red, like my Ferrari!


If the Force India gets in amongst them it should liven things up a bit and in any case as far as I’m concerned any livery is better than HRT’s original 2010 effort 🙂


If you do not know, look up the

start-up of StewartGP. Check on

the thought that went into the

choice of the primary car colour.

It was all marketing. How the

colour works with sponsor colours,

how it grabs TV viewers eyes, and

in these days, how it looks in

digital print.

Dark, non-descript colours are used

during the launch for a reason. Note

most sponsor markings absent?

When the car reaches the first race

with the final changes made and team

and sponsor colours applied, the

average person will not remember the

launch car, and will therefore not be



Orange or yellow? The colours across the grid were so varied and distinctive a decade or more ago. These days the grid reflects the racing – dull and uninspired!


I think that the dark grays do a disservice to the sponsors since the cars are a lot more difficult to pick out particularly when on watching on TV.

I really like the Vodafone McLaren colour scheme. The highly polished silver with a dash of orange projects an image of a high precision and precious object to me.

As a side benefit the Vodafone McLaren shirts, jackets and caps seem to be some of the most popular at the tracks, of course that could also be related to the drivers too.

In contrast the Mercedes gray and green is very unattractive and the Sauber with dark gray just disappears into the background.



They went downhill livery-wise after their debut jet-black scheme. The Red Bull liveries were ok too, but come on, let’s have something interesting again!

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