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Sauber retain Ferrari engine, lose gearbox 15 Sep 2004

Giancarlo Fisichella (ITA) Sauber Petronas C23.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, 11 September 2004

Sauber will again use Ferrari engines in 2005, the team has revealed. Unlike this year, however, they will not be linked to the Italian team’s gearboxes.

Sauber have run Petronas-badged Ferrari engines since 1997, but 2004 was the first time the Swiss squad had also utilised the world champion’s transmission. For next season, though, they will revert to making their own gearbox.

“This year's solution has been an exception,” explained Sauber’s Technical Director Willy Rampf. “All of our former cars, from the C12 to the C22, were always fitted with Sauber gearboxes. Our specialists have already started to work on the new gearbox for the C24.

“Retaining our in-house technical competence is an essential requirement as far as we are concerned. This applies to all central areas like aerodynamics, carbon fibre production and - just as well - to the design of the gearbox. This gives us technical independence, thus enabling us to make any adjustments to changing general conditions which may be required.”

Sauber have had a good season to date, scoring points in nine of the 15 races so far. They lie sixth in the constructors’ championship standings on 29 points, 19 clear of seventh-placed rivals Jaguar.

“Overall, we are very satisfied with the engines supplied by Ferrari, which means that it absolutely makes sense for us to continue this cooperation,” added Rampf. “In 2005 it (the partnership) will be entering its ninth year already. Especially in the field of engineering, continuity is very important.”

Sauber’s 2005 driver line-up will comprise Brazilian Felipe Massa and newly-signed former world champion Jacques Villeneuve.