After a disastrous start to the 2014 F1 season, Sauber is planning a significant upgrade that it hopes will propel drivers Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez to their first points of the year.
The team has so far recorded a best result of 11th and 12th at the opening race of the season in Australia. However, since then, Sutil has failed to finish a race, whilst Gutierrez has seen the checkered flag just once with P16 in China. They may have had their fair share of bad luck, but neither driver has ever looked capable of scoring points, but the upgrades planned for the Spanish Grand Prix could remedy this.
“At the Spanish Grand Prix both C33s will have essential revisions, following an extensive weight reduction and a significant aerodynamic update,” head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara explained.
“This update consists of a modified front wing and a new engine cover, new sidepod fins and deflectors, as well as a number of other aerodynamic changes.
“Besides that, we will also have a software improvement which will enable us to use the potential of the power unit in a better way.”
Each and every team will bring its first significant upgrade to the race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but Dall’Ara is still confident that Sauber’s will be good enough to put the team back into the top ten.
“We very much look forward to converting everyone’s efforts into improved lap times,” he said. “However, we know that all the other teams are progressing as well, so it will be interesting to see where we stand. We will certainly do our best in order to race for points.”
Test driver Giedo van der Garde is set to take part in the first free practice session once again, deputizing for Gutierrez.
After a poor start to the season, Sauber will be hoping that the return to Europe can mark an upturn in fortunes, a bit of luck, and – crucially – some points.