BMW Sauber C29 unveiled in Valencia 31 Jan 2010
BMW Sauber became the third team to reveal their 2010 car on Sunday as the wraps came of the C29 at the Valencia circuit in Spain, where pre-season testing gets underway on Monday.
Drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi were on hand to unveil the Ferrari-powered machine, with the team back under the leadership of founder Peter Sauber following the departure of BMW.
After finishing sixth in the 2009 constructors championship, BMW Sauber say their aim is to establish themselves at this level despite a lower budget and reduction in manpower.
"The last few months have been very intense for us," said Peter Sauber. "First we had to battle to secure the survival of the team and then we focused on putting a strong set-up in place for the future. The technical preparation of the 2010 car has continued uninterrupted and according to plan since the spring of 2009, despite all the turmoil.
An eye-catching feature of the C29 is its highly intricate raised nose. Also very distinctive is an extremely long undercut at the transition from chassis into underbody. These and other aerodynamic measures also help to ensure optimum airflow to the double diffuser. Further changes were required to integrate the Ferrari engine and, in particular, the Ferrari gearbox.
"The development of the BMW Sauber C29 has seen the team build on the experience gained last year and the improvement in performance over the final third of the season," explained technical director Willy Rampf. However, the new regulations banning refuelling during the race and stipulating a reduced width for the front tyres have required significant changes to the car's design."
The increased length of the fuel tank means the car has grown longer overall. And because they are slimmer, the front tyres will be more heavily worked, requiring weight to be shifted further towards the rear of the car.
Of his teams new driver line-up, Peter Sauber commented: We have a long tradition of bringing together an up-and-coming youngster and an experienced campaigner as a driver combination - and it's an approach that has brought us a lot of success. Pedro has been working at the highest level technically for many years and for a top team, and we can benefit as a team from this experience. Young Kamui also has a lot to offer us, and last year he impressed me particularly in Abu Dhabi."
De la Rosa has 71 Grands Prix under his belt and has earned his place in the statistics for podium finishes and setting fastest race laps. Plus, he also brings with him valuable experience from seven years as a test and reserve driver with McLaren.
"At last I can feel like a proper racing driver again, said the 38-year-old Spaniard. I've really missed the competition out on the track. At the same time, though, I've learned a lot technically and on the systems side, and now I want to bring that knowledge to the team."
Kobayashi can't wait to tackle his first full season in Formula One, after scoring points as a Toyota substitute in 2009: "I'm very proud that Peter Sauber has shown so much faith in me and I'm determined not to disappoint him. My aim is that he will end up being proud of me as well."
The Sauber C29 will make its testing debut at Valencia on Monday.