Sauber launches Alfa Romeo-backed 2018 car
Sauber news

Sauber launches Alfa Romeo-backed 2018 car

20/02/2018

Sauber has unveiled its car for the 2018 Formula One season, which marks the start of its title sponsorship with Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo.

On Tuesday, the team revealed the car -- named the C37 -- with the same livery scheme it launched when it formally announced the Alfa Romeo deal in late 2017. The tie-up is part of Sauber's new partnership with Ferrari, which includes an up-to-date engine as well as strategic, commercial and technological cooperation.

The car has followed a new design philosophy, which technical chief Joerg Zander hopes will end Sauber's recent run at the back of the field in Formula One.

"The 2018 challenger is the result of the hard work that everyone in the factory has put in over the last few months," he said. "Speaking about the C37, the car philosophy is much different to that of the C36. The aerodynamic concept has changed significantly and the C37 has several new features in comparison to its predecessor.

"We are positive that the new concept offers us more opportunities and will help us to make improvements during the course of the season."

A novel approach to the C37's sidepod inlets sees them split by the car's side-impact crash structure, which should help aid the airflow underneath the sidepods to the rear of the car. The team has stuck with its blade-style roll structure and airbox design as well as adding an aero element to the Halo to direct airflow around that part of the car.

Another notable change from the C36 is a new front suspension design that sees the wishbone mountings raised high on the chassis to help airflow underneath. A similar design was used by Mercedes and Toro Rosso last year and also features on the new Red Bull this year.

The deal sees the FCA-owned Alfa Romeo brand return to F1 for the first time in 33 years. The Italian company won the first two F1 world championships in 1950 and 1951 but struggled to replicate that success in later years, eventually pulling out of F1 in 1985 after several years as a works team.

Marcus Ericsson has been retained by the team and this year will be joined by exciting Ferrari junior Charles Leclerc, the reigning Formula 2 champion, who embarks on his rookie campaign with the team.

"I am very much looking forward to the 2018 season, and to seeing Marcus and Charles on track," team principal Frederic Vasseur said."We have put lots of effort and hard work into the C37 over the last few months, and it is fantastic to be launching the new car today.

"I am convinced that Marcus and Charles form the perfect driver line-up, with one being an experienced driver and one a promising rookie.

"The return of Alfa Romeo to Formula One sets another milestone in the team's history, and I am proud that such a historical brand has chosen us for their return to the sport."

Sauber's car launch followed a flurry of sponsorship announcements throughout the day. The team has welcomed the likes of Richard Mille, Claro, Kappa and Carrera for the new season.

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