Sauber has 'good expectations' for 2019 car

  • 08 Jan 2019 11:51
  • comments 6
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Sauber says that it has good expectations for its upcoming challenger but is wary of how the new regulations could switch up the grid. The 2019 season will see a number of aerodynamic regulations revamped, including less complex front wings, steeper and wider rear wings and lowered bargeboards.

Sauber had a strong 2018 season, bouncing back from being backmarkers over the course of the previous two seasons. Its successful development saw it rise to eighth in the constructors' standings, while it battled towards the front of the midfield at the end of the season. 

Next year the Hinwil outfit will have a completely new line-up with veteran Kimi Raikkonen joining alongside rookie Antonio Giovinazzi. Team principal Frederic Vasseur confirmed that it switched focus onto the 2019 car early on in 2018.

"We pushed like hell quite early on next year's car," Vasseur said to Autosport. "We switched all resources of the company on next year's car quite early. We have good expectations but when you have a change like this in the regulations it's a drastic one. You never know.

"You can take the wrong direction and we will understand this perhaps [only at testing] in Barcelona because nobody knows exactly what the others are doing. My feeling is very positive, that we are still improving week after week and with the same purpose we had [in 2018]. I don't know if the others are doing a better job or not, but we are doing a good job."

Vasseur added that it must continue to develop at the rate it is currently doing: "I don't want to say I don't care but it won't change my view on the season," said Vasseur. "We are fighting towards the top 10, and in terms of teams between P4 and P6. We have to do at least the same [in 2019]. It will be the target."

Replies (6)

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  • I think we can expect good things from Sauber for next year. Maybe even beating Haas.

    • + 0
    • Jan 8 2019 - 12:29
    • Kean

      Posts: 474

      I think so too, and even if Haas build a slightly faster car from all the Ferrari parts, I'm not confident that Gro and Mag will get the job done. Gro is fast, faster than Mag, but far too inconsistent. Magnussen had a good first half of 2018, but the second half was really bad. Seems he couldn't handle the car on the softest compounds. And I think Grosjeans abyssmal first half made Mag look better. In other words Raikkonen and Giovinazzi will bring it home for Sauber should Sauber and Haas build equally fast cars.

      • + 0
      • Jan 8 2019 - 13:52
    • mcbhargav

      Posts: 891

      Sauber is up there in my list of supported teams in 2019. They are not just the most improved team, they are also going to be most exciting of the teams with Kimi in the tow.

      • + 0
      • Jan 8 2019 - 16:46
    • I too think Haas lineup will fail them again. Another good but fragile car, falling apart as the rate of any minister Trump hires, that will be totaled at the slightest whim. As I've said before, and as I think at least Kean agrees on, I think Grosjean's time in F1 is running out. If he ever had "it", its gone now. At the very least, Im hoping for another year with a midfield as compact as my... remains after eating... get when I eat iron pills after a blood donation.

      • + 0
      • Jan 8 2019 - 18:05
    • Kean

      Posts: 474

      Yeah, Calle, I think we're on the same page regarding Grosjean. I do, however, think I have more of a soft spot for him than you do. He'll have to be faultless in 2019 to keep on keepin on in 2020.

      • + 0
      • Jan 8 2019 - 21:01
    • I dont dislike him, I dont hope it comes of that way, I just dont think he is F1 material anymore. I used to look at him as something that might be good in the future, but that waned past 2015, and now he has faded into good at best territory. Still think he is a good driver, I'd just prefer seeing him in a different series, while someone else could replace him at Haas, and Vandoorne could move to a team to get a second chance... Or something...

      • + 0
      • Jan 8 2019 - 22:26

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