Sauber on schedule with 'brand new' 2018 project

Published on 12 Jan 2018 10:23
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Frederic Vasseur thinks 2018 will be a more competitive year for Sauber. Last year, as the former Renault boss took over at the helm of the Swiss team, Sauber finished dead last in the constructors' championship. "There was not just one weak point," Vasseur told France's Auto Hebdo. "Instead, it was the result of the difficulties of the team in 2016."

Indeed, Sauber almost collapsed financially in 2016, and was ultimately rescued only in the late summer by a consortium linked to driver Marcus Ericsson. Vasseur explained: "The 2017 car was ready very late. It was a new project and if you are six months late, it only adds to a difficult situation and it's very difficult to catch up."

"The decision to use the 2016 Ferrari engine last year also did not help," he added. "Now we have a brand new project. Sauber started very late last year, but the 2018 project is on schedule," said Vasseur. "But of course only the first test in Barcelona at the end of February will tell us where we are."

Sauber has ousted Pascal Wehrlein for 2018, but replaced him with the highly rated Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc, who heads into the season as the reigning F2 champion. "Yes, there are many expectations and I think we have made some strong choices," Vasseur said. "Above all with the engine -- having the 2018 Ferrari engine will mean a big step forward for us. And we have started with a new philosophy for the car." (GMM)



Replies (9)
SE calle.itw 12 Jan 2018 12:370
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Posts: 4604
I hope it will be. I'd love to not have any real backmarkers for 2018. I think this will be the case, but still, who knows?
BE krommenaas 12 Jan 2018 14:310
Posts: 155
Toro Rosso will probably be worse this year than Sauber were last year.
SE calle.itw 12 Jan 2018 16:250
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Posts: 4604
I doubt it, but we'll see. Much of it depend on the drivers and the unit.
 
US mcbhargav 12 Jan 2018 17:380
Posts: 489
2018 Engine, Leclerc , and early development date (might be even a upgrade over Pascal ) all points to a better midfield fight for Sauber.
 
Posts: 140
Is this just usual optimistic PR nonce or actual optimism?

If they really are optimistic about their chances then they must be getting technical support from Fiat. Reports talkes that their Engineer team was very small still in the fall. I doubt that they have managed alone even if they moved all resources to 2018 car in the fall. It takes surprising long time hire new people and get them upto speed. Good example of this is Renault who plan to be championship contender in future but only in a few years.

I too wish that Sauber manages to challenge for points in the midfield battle.
SE calle.itw 12 Jan 2018 21:280
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Posts: 4604
Honestly, I dont expect much from Sauber. 'member all the times as of late when they've had recent units, 'member how great they were back then? I dont expect that to change, just because daddy Ferrari gave them some attention again.
Posts: 183
ferrari may give them developmentally advanced engines to test reliability. as they are no threat on the grid.
SE calle.itw 13 Jan 2018 20:150
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Posts: 4604
I doubt it. Sauber would likely not like being a test mule, and any potential upgrades will be saved for Ferrari themselves.
 
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Posts: 677
The problem with Sauber is not the start of the year. The issue is that other teams out develop them throughout the year. Without an major investment into into that area to give you improvements throughout the year they will be lagging again by the end of the year. Hopefully they have a good start of the 2018 season.
 

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