Malaysian launch for new Sauber 12 Nov 2004
Saubers 2005 challenger, the C24, will be unveiled in Kuala Lumpur in January, the team have announced.
The launch ceremony will see key sponsor Petronas celebrating ten years in Formula One racing. The Malaysian oil and gas corporation first linked up with Sauber in 1995 and has been a key partner ever since.
Sauber, who finished a strong sixth in the 2004 constructors championship, are the first team to confirm a launch date for their new car, which must comply with strict new aerodynamic regulations.
Sure to be in attendance at the January 11 unveiling is the teams revised driver line-up of Felipe Massa and former world champion Jacques Villeneuve.
Villeneuve, who returned to Grand Prix racing with Renault in September after almost a year away from the sport, recently visited Saubers Hinwil factory for a seat fitting and will test for the team for the first time later this month.
Sauber, who began to reap the benefits of their new wind tunnel facility during the 2004 season, will be hoping the C24 can build on the success of its C23 predecessor, which scored a total of 34 points this year.
The C24 will again use a Petronas-badged Ferrari V10 engine, but unlike this year, it will be coupled to the Swiss teams own gearbox, designed and manufactured in house.
Another new element on the team's 2005 car will be its tyres. Sauber recently announced they are switch to Michelin rubber for 2005 after a six-year alliance with Bridgestone.