Sauber 'Starting From Scratch' With Next Year's Formula One Car
"Less than 20 percent" will reportedly be carried over from the current race car.
With only five points to its name, Sauber has struggled in 2017, placing at the bottom of this season's F1 Constructors' Championship behind McLaren. A majority of the team's current car is over a year old and falling victim to other, newer machines on the grid. After evaluating the situation and deciding to start fresh for next season, Sauber team principal Fred Vasseur has announced that his team's car for 2018 will be "completely different" and have a carry-over of less than 20 percent from this year's efforts.
In a report from Autosport, Vasseur explained that he and his team are tired of finishing near the bottom of the field.
"I want to come back into the fight," he said. "I want to come back in each event, to be able to be in the group in front of us."
And to do that, Sauber has already begun development for 2018. Vasseur claimed that they've already had the new car in the wind tunnel for quite some time now, and discussions regarding Ferrari parameters are in the works as well.
"The current one [car] is 2016 so to try and carry over to 2018…We have to start from scratch," he said. "It's also the reason the car [has] long [been] in the wind tunnel. The global picture of the car will be completely different."
This will be Sauber's first car developed under the watch of famous F1 designer Jorg Zander, who didn't join the team until after the first race of 2017. This new direction could help the team's competitiveness in a variety of ways, especially in comparison to its current state.
Vasseur noted that it won't be an easy fight for Sauber to claw its way back into the midfield, as many other teams have larger budgets than the small Swiss outfit. Formula One owners Liberty Media have been working on ways to reduce costs in the series, a move that would be beneficial to teams like Sauber and help draw in newcomers to the sport.
"It will be difficult to come back into the midfield. It's one step and there is no big change in the regulations for next year. All the other teams will have much better carryover than us. For me, the biggest challenge will be to increase the size of the company, to increase the performance of each department," Vasseur said.
"If we're able to do this, we will improve on the grid. The group in front of us is very close."