Sauber launch the C33 for 2014 F1 season
Swiss team pair Sutil and Gutierrez and eye 2014 improvement
By Sky Sports Online. Last Updated: 26/01/14 4:59pm
Sauber have become the sixth team to release images of their new car for the 2014 season, the Ferrari-powered C33.
The Hinwil-based outfit, which finished seventh in last year's Constructors' Championship, revealed their first challenger for F1's new hybrid turbo era on their official website on Sunday.
By the team's own admission, 'Perhaps the most visually striking element of the Sauber C33-Ferrari is the very low, snout-like nose.'
Sauber remain in partnership with long-time engine suppliers Ferrari but there is a change on the driver front with veteran Force India man Adrian Sutil replacing fellow German Nico Hulkenberg, the pair effectively swapping seats from 2013.
"After six good years in the same team, it was time for me to look for a new challenge. I'm determined to have a successful future with the Sauber F1 Team and will do my bit to ensure that," said Sutil. "In recent years the team has repeatedly demonstrated its potential, not least in the second half of the last season. And as for infrastructure, the Sauber F1 Team are a match for anybody. I can't wait to take on the challenge!"
Mexican youngster Esteban Gutierrez is retained into a second season while Sauber have also signed Caterham exile Giedo van der Garde to the role of test and reserve driver.
"Last season I had a steep learning curve," commented Gutierrez, "but working together with the team, I was able to make steady progress. This is my fourth year with the Swiss team, and the second as a racing driver. Last year I learnt 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."
The C33: Picture courtesy of Sauber
After a fraught first half to 2013 amid financial pressures and an underperforming car, Sauber proved one of the midfield form teams from the summer break onwards and scored 50 points across the final nine grands prix.
Like the majority of teams, Sauber will roll out their car on the opening morning of the Jerez test on Tuesday as the first four-day test of the winter commences in southern Spain.
However, the team have clarified that the 'roll-out version' of the C33 'will be fully functional, but without a number of performance parts, which will be introduced for the two tests in Bahrain.
"On the one hand this gives us time to maximise the development of these performance relevant parts, and on the other hand we can run the car during the first test and check all the systems, which we feel is crucial, considering all the technical changes," explained Chief Designer Eric Gandelin.
The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests, starting in Jerez on Tuesday January 28, with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News.