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Sauber focuses on future after dismal ‘14

2015-01-31 17:44

SAUBER FLYING NEW COLOURS FOR 2015: Sauber and Ferrari have again teamed up, this time for the 2015 Formula 1 series. Image: Sauber

ALAN BALDWIN

LONDON, England - Sauber presented a new-look blue-and-yellow Formula 1 car on Friday (Jan 30) that, the team hopes, will bring at least some points after its worst season yet.

The Swiss team, which has been struggling financially, scored zero in 2014 for the first time in its 22-year history - one of only two teams to end the campaign pointless.

‘LEARNED OUR LESSONS’

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn in a statement: "2014 was a very disappointing year. However, it is in the past and we now focus on what comes next.

“We’ve learned our lessons and are confident for the new season. We have to improve to race for championship points."

Sauber has two new drivers for 2015: Swede Marcus Ericsson and Brazilian rookie Felipe Nasr.

The Ferrari-powered C34's colours, a marked change from 2014’s grey livery, reflected the nationalities of the two drivers as well as their backers on a car short of prominent sponsorship since Mexican phone giant Telmex departed along with Esteban Gutierrez, now a Ferrari reserve.

Japanese backer NEC has also migrated to rival team Force India. Bank of Brazil, however, has arrived with Nasr.

'PERFECT ENVIRONMENT'

Ericsson, whose previous team Caterham was the other 2014 non-scorer, also went into administration, said: "After a difficult season we want to move forward to race mid-field, as the team did previously.

"From a driver's view, I want to continue to learn and establish myself as an F1 driver. I have a feeling of being in the perfect environment to do so."

Sauber said it had focused on three areas on the new car: slow-corner performance, weight, braking. In keeping with other new cars unveiled so far the sidepods are slimmer and the nose closer to the tar.

The team said it would test a first version of the car at the first pre-season test starting in Jerez on Sunday (Feb 1 2015) with some parts carried over from the C33 – thought these would gradually be replaced successively by new.

Chief designer Eric Gandelin asserted: “We’ll use the time until Melbourne to ensure we're as competitive as possible on the grid for the season-opener.

Which, of course, will be in Melbourne on March 15.

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