Sauber planning "extensive" aerodynamic upgrade of C33 for Bahrain tests
Swiss team also working on brake-by-wire improvements
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 04/02/14 10:30am
The Swiss-based outfit rolled out a basic version of their 2014 challenger at last week's opening test in Jerez and spent the four days on track focused on putting as much mileage as possible on the car's all-new systems rather than performance elements.
New signing Adrian Sutil admitted improving the car's aerodynamics was the team's next objective and Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn has confirmed the look of the C33 will evolve over the two Bahrain tests, the first of which begins on February 19.
"Fundamentally it's a very extensive package," she explained.
"We plan to have most of the parts on the car for the first test in Bahrain.
"This includes new front and rear wings, side pod deflectors, as well as several other small elements on the car. A few other parts will follow for the second test in Bahrain."
Kaltenborn admitted that the car's new rear brake-by-wire system, which is a byproduct of 2014's regulation changes which allow enhanced energy-recovery systems, had caused headaches for the team and a fix with power unit suppliers Ferrari was also being worked on.
"Not only the drivers, also the engineers were not happy about it," the team boss added.
"This was a software issue in the first place. We were able to make improvements throughout the test, but there is still room for improvement.
"However, our engineers are convinced that they have enough time to solve those weaknesses together with our engine partner by the next test."
Sauber, Ferrari's long-serving engine customer, racked up the fifth-highest mileage amongst the teams at Jerez with the Maranello marque's V6 power unit running reasonably reliably straight out of the box.
But Kaltenborn said while it was the clear which manufacturer 'won' the mileage battle at Jerez, it was still impossible to tell who really held the outright performance advantage.
"Again, it is very difficult to judge at this stage," she insisted.
"The only thing you can place in an order is the number of laps the teams did with the respective engines. Here the order is clear: Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault.
"But to compare the performance is impossible at the moment, also because some might still be playing their cards close to their chests. I am sure there will be movement right up to the first race in Melbourne in that regard. At the moment this is just a snapshot. It will remain exciting!"
The Sky Sports F1 Online team will be providing live commentary of all three winter tests with live updates from trackside also on Sky Sports News. The next test, in Bahrain, begins on Wednesday February 19.