Sauber C36: the car’s 25th anniversary

Sauber C36 ala frontal

Since Karl Wendlinger and JJ Lehto were for the first time in the team of Peter Sauber in 1993 with BMW engines, up to the present, and humble team led by Monisha Kaltenborn powered by Ferrari and driven by the young Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein, a lot of things have changed. However there is something that remains unchanged, and that is the mark Sauber, which meets this year its 25th anniversary and celebrate with a change in the decoration of the new Sauber C36 with golden tones and a lot more attractive than the last few years. Those shades of gray were not too appealing, nor is the blue with the yellow imposed by the sponsor Banco do Brasil, which already is not present when they have left Felipe Nasr…

on The 22nd day of this month have planned a filming day in the circuit of Barcelona, and although the tyres, the speed, mileage and the tests to be performed are controlled by the FIA to be something promotional and by the absurd restrictions on filming, and have the teams of F1, without a doubt that engineers will take advantage of that to see how the car works before you start with the pre-season test that will take place within a few days. Only with the appearance, the car is much more beautiful than that of last year, and it seems more worked on the design that we have left to see from the Grove to the Williams FW40, although let’s not forget that they were images made by computer and insurance keep something for the preseason.

If we begin to analyze the car from its front, we see something that we already saw in the FW40, and is that the nose on the tip of the nose has not disappeared. Continues to that peak, leaving hollows in the sides to channel a larger amount of flow towards the rear, something very sought after since they banned the face high. front wing is quite similar to the one that had the car last year, something that at the start of the season tends to be common, as they tend to continue with your design to develop better throughout the season. Evidently, what has changed is the width, to adapt to the new rules, and also presents this form of delta that we already saw in the Williams. Of course it is anchored to a nose somewhat longer and with a slope quite gentle in its fall. Remember that new tyres presented a new challenge, and the wing must deflect the flow that goes to the tires in a proper manner to reduce the resistance of its flank and to reduce the turbulence generated by the movement of the housing…

The geometry of the suspension arms can also be seen and it has not changed, nor have they changed over the cooling ducts of the brakes. What has changed much is the way of the sidepods or pontoons, since the air intakes have changed a lot with respect to last season. As did Williams, the guys from Sauber have opted for raise and, instead of being so rounded as the past year, are more elongated in its upper area, but creating a closure in a triangular shape for the area down to make the air to slide through the lower area of the pontoon towards the rear area. In the picture, it seems that the air intakes for the radiators has not been reduced as in the case of Williams, what is has done is dramatically modify the airbox. The past year was triangular and had two shots added on each side of the central triangle to channel more air for cooling, while this year is a takes a more rounded and split in two by the structure of the anti-roll, delaying the shots to the back, and creating two other small holes behind the head of the pilot. Something that reminds us of the design of the defunct Caterham (Lotus T128).

In the lateral image, you can appreciate the elevation of the jacks of the pontoons which we talked about in the previous paragraphs. That groove that leaves the body will cause the air to slide into the rear area taking advantage of the Coanda effect. As we see in the back, also have risen up the hollow place where they exit the hot gases after having cooled the components to leave a channel larger to carry more flow to the profile of the upper zone of the diffuser. We also see the bargeboards larger as expected, but the most striking is shark fin, which is quite large and traditional that Williams FW40. It does not have to be an advantage, in fact it is included to deal with the turbulence that come to the revamped rear spoiler. Interestingly Red Bull, introduced for the first time this fin in 2008, but this year seemed to be too excited with their design, so they were the most reluctant to the back of it. Although it has finally been implemented, that allows to see that the RB13 could have a clear aerodynamic advantage over their competitors that they needed it to not lose efficiency in the rear wing.

In the side image you can also appreciate a good work in the background, with, profiles, and folds in the carbon fiber of the floor to seal the floor area, avoiding the turbulence generated by the wheel spoil the harmony of the air that travels towards the diffuser and to reduce their efficiency. It is not something new, we have already seen in other cars in the past few seasons, but after the “surprise” of the Williams, which seems especially simple and continuo, has called us the attention in the case of Sauber. Behind the car has also been reduced quite a bit, all the engineers are still obsessed with re-position all the parts of the power unit and make gearboxes smaller in order to leave the more free space in this area better, without forgetting to lower the center of gravity and forward weight for better dynamic vehicle.

Something that I noticed is that the S-Duct seems to shine by its absence, something rare, as we have seen in the past at Sauber, and also what we see in the new FW40. This year the aerodynamic efficiency is vital, the changes in the regulations have created cars wider and with more drag, or aerodynamic drag, so have solutions aerodynamic advanced should be good. In spite of that, Sauber seems to have chosen not to dispose of it, or who still have not wanted to show… however, it is a “tool” complex that it is not easy to make it work in spite of your concept so simple, something like what happened with the F-Duct of McLaren (prohibited a few years ago), or the double DRS of the Mercedes that broke the flow of the wing to reduce downforce and also drag in the straights. And if we keep looking back, you can see the rear wing in the style of Williams, adapted to the new dimensions set forth by the technical regulation, curve and inclined backward in terms of their endplates (which will be the tonic for all cars of this year).

finally, it is not rare that Sauber has not wanted to show pictures of the rear area, because as we have been repeating, is an area that the engineers jealously guard due to the importance of the diffuser. Although for many of us mortals just look a few threads with profiles, and fences without too much mystery, aerodinamistas are dying to see the secrets that saved this area in the cars of the competition. That is why it is typical to see engineers or staff of the factory of each team with professional cameras in the circuits to capture in detail all the secrets of the rivals and be able to get ideas for their designs (not copy directly). The reason not to directly copy the designs is that the cars are designed starting with the front wing, and then began to design backwards, ending by the rear wing and diffuser to compensate for the load generated in the front, therefore, some solutions aerodynamic work in one vehicle may not work well in another concept. We’ve even seen as many built the car entirely around the cornerstone of aerodynamics when they find some loophole in the technical regulations.

In short, Sauber has much to celebrate on this 25th anniversary, and if the engine of Ferrari meets with the expectations and the treatment of Maranello is equal to the swiss team, possibly they are in a better position that they were in the past year, as the chassis does not look bad. Remember that in 2016, fought with the gone Manor not to be last, with some battles with Renault and Haas, but always at the end of the table. Regarding the engine, little can we know, since then Ferrari does not remain of arms crossed and up to the moment have the second best engine after Mercedes, in fact this year expected to give another boost to the development using 3D printing technology to the mechanics, but we never know how much you will improve each one until you see them in action in Australia, much less what they’re doing with Mercedes, Honda and Renault.

Of what we see in the pre-season test of little we can trust, as possibly the withdrawal of the tokens has led to teams like Renault and Honda to take more risks in the development and change its design in a more radical way, so that the reliability will be key and you may see some filming of some machines due to these problems. However, they should not be kept too, as there are many changes and I think that you will need to know their concepts to the background…