The 2014 Sauber C33 with Ferrari engine presented
The Sauber F1 Team presented the new Sauber C33-Ferrari with which its two drivers, Esteban Gutiérrez (MX, 22) and Adrian Sutil (DE, 31), will be lining up on the grid for the start of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship. The team has signed up Giedo van der Garde (NL, 28) as its test and reserve driver as well as Sergey Sirotkin (RU, 18) as test driver. The Sauber C33-Ferrari will be rolled out in Jerez de la Frontera (ES) during the first winter test starting on 28th January.
The Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn is careful to make any forecasts for the new season: “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. One thing’s for sure: reliability will be of the essence, especially at the beginning of the season.”
The Sauber C33-Ferrari
The changes to the regulations introduced for 2014 are arguably the most sweeping ever seen in Formula One. As far as the engine in particular is concerned, the changes require a completely new concept. In place of last season’s naturally aspirated 2.4-litre V8 engine comes a 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 power unit, backed up by an energy recovery system (ERS) which is twice as powerful as in the past and with, potentially, more than ten times the deployable energy.
But that’s not all; key changes have also been introduced on the aerodynamics. For example, the maximum width of the front wing is now 165 cm (previously 180 cm) and the nose will be very low. This is intended to improve safety. Lower noses have been introduced by agreement between the FIA and the teams to reduce the risk that a car will be launched into the air in the case of a nose to rear wheel accident and also to reduce the risk of a driver injury in the event of a “T bone” accident.
Modifications have also been made to the dimensions of the chassis profile at the front of the car and the side crash elements, which are now standardized. The side impact test has been replaced by push off and load tests which are more stringent than before. These structures, combined with the way they are attached to the chassis, should result in better safety in the case of an oblique side impact. In addition, the lower rear wing is now removed. The aerodynamic effects, which could previously be achieved at the rear of the car through the manipulation of exhaust gases, are now restricted, with the position of the exhaust now more precisely defined. Side exhaust exits are no longer permitted; the exhaust tailpipe will now exit centrally and rearwards, with only minor changes allowed to its angle.
All of these measures reduce downforce and, therefore, decrease cornering speed. The cars will also be slower due to the raising of the minimum weight, which increases from 642 kg (including driver) to 691 kg, cancelling out – at least in part – the weight added by the new technical systems.
Perhaps the most visually striking element of the Sauber C33-Ferrari is the very low, snout-like nose. The front wing pylon’s attachments on the nose have been moved out as far as possible allowed by the regulations to channel as much air as possible under the car.
The aerodynamics engineers were handed a new brief for the design of the front wing, which is 7.5 centimeters narrower on either side than the previous version. This creates very different airflow conditions. The entire front wing with its complex end plates, has, therefore, been newly developed from the ground up.
The front suspension concept has changed little, with its springs and dampers again push-rod-actuated. However, the changes to the regulations regarding the chassis profile have called for some detail adjustments.
The car’s engine, energy recovery system and gearbox are supplied by Ferrari. The 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 engine has a rev limit of 15,000 rpm. A maximum 100 kg of fuel can be used for each race. Previously there was no limit on fuel usage and up to 140 kg of fuel was used, so this represents a significant improvement in fuel efficiency. Continuing the environmental theme, this year the number of engines which can be used in a season is also reduced from eight to five.
Where previously a maximum KERS boost of 60 kW was available for 6.6 seconds, now the drivers will be able to call on an extra 120 kW of power for 33 seconds per lap from the batteries. This additional output is fuelled not only by the kinetic energy generated under braking, but also by the heat energy produced by the engine. The system now comprises two electric motors/generators, one coupled to the V6 engine’s drive unit, the other connected to the turbocharger. It is also possible to drive the electric motor attached to the engine directly from the one driven by the turbocharger, which can extend the total usable electrical energy further. The turbocharger can also be driven electronically to limit delays in the creation of engine power on first application of throttle.
The all-new carbon gearbox has eight forward gears (as stipulated in the regulations), whose ratios may only be changed once over the course of the 2014 season. The whole power unit may not weigh less than 145 kg.
The concept for the rear of the Sauber C33-Ferrari also includes a degree of adaptability, so that the engineers can make adjustments to this area of the car in response to varying conditions. The exhaust tailpipe is positioned centrally between two pylons, which connect the rear wing to the rear impact structure. A change in the regulations has enlarged the maximum permitted aperture between the flap and the main wing to 65 mm (during DRS activation – previously 50 mm), which increases the DRS effect of the rear wing.
The braking system concept is totally new, taking the form of a brake-by-wire system for the first time at the rear wheels. This has become necessary due to the significantly increased performance of the ERS, which requires much greater variations in rear wheel braking torque than previously. With brake-by-wire, an electronic system measures how hard the driver presses the brake pedal and then – using the additional information from energy recuperation – determines in a split-second the amount of braking pressure that should be fed through to the rear brake calipers.
The Sauber F1 Team will begin the test in Jerez with a roll-out version of the Sauber C33-Ferrari. This means, that the car will be fully functional, but without a number of performance parts, which will be introduced for the two tests in Bahrain. Eric Gandelin explained: “On the one hand this gives us time to maximize 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.”
With all those new things in the coming season, do you think Sauber will have more chances to be among the Top teams? I think that the cards are reshuffled and that there will not be a clear leader during the beginning of the season. Sauber with Adrian Sutil especially might take benefit of this situation.