Two things you need to win, or perform wee, in Formula 1…a good chassis and a good power unit. Mercedes have both. The decision of Sauber to focus on their chassis for 2017 and run a year-old Ferrari power unit had me slightly stumped as to the direction but reading the team’s comments, I reckon they know far better than I what needs to be done.
The 2017 regulation overhaul—while we’re on that, I understand the changes but the power unit is the same with token development removed so I am wondering if the teams aren’t over playing the changes a bit by suggesting it will put everyone at square one…I find that hard to believe for Mercedes—will represent a chance for Sauber to cure a few of their chassis ills.
The issue is that the old power unit isn’t going to give them the shove they need or in-season development to keep pace with teams ahead of them…which is about everyone except Manor these days.
Perhaps no one knows this better than Scuderia Toro Rosso who have, arguably, one of the better chassis’ on the grid but are unable to keep pace with the others mid-field due to a lack of shove from their year-old Ferrari power units. It’s hard to imagine Sauber faring any better in 2017.
Even driver Marcus Ericsson was questioning the decision saying:
“When I first heard about it, I questioned it quite a lot and I was thinking, ‘is that really the right way to go?'” said Ericsson.
“You look at Toro Rosso and how much they have lost.
“Then I spoke to the guys at the track and the factory and the reasoning makes sense, as there are really big changes to the regulations and we are a small team.
“The team can focus on developing the car for next year and knowing what package we will have and what power unit we will have will help.
“The chassis has not been where it should be and to go into the winter not knowing about the engine package is going to hurt even more.
“If we know what we have in the back, we can push hard on the chassis side.”
It seems that the issue is the new owners of the team are not an endless wellspring of cash and they have enough resources to focus on one but not both elements of the car. At least that’s what it seems like they are saying. According the article, even his teammate, Felipe Nasr, was wondering why but has come to a similar resolution with the issue saying:
“In 2016, we had the latest-spec engine but we’re lacking a lot on the car.
“Cornering speeds, traction, braking has all been very weak this year and I can clearly see there is more room to gain focusing on these areas – there is more to gain on the chassis side.”
So it seems that Sauber will be looking for a big chassis upgrade and riding out the lack of power in 2017 and the question then becomes, can they score points and get their way back into the F1 prize money payout? IF the new owners don’t have the resources to fund every element of the 2017 car including engine supply, then can the team supplement that cash with F1 prize money?
Hat Tip: AUTOSPORT