The most outstanding characteristic of the new Ferrari-powered Sauber C24 F1 challenger is its sidepods, which have an extreme undercut to achieve optimum airflow.

The most outstanding characteristic of the new Ferrari-powered Sauber C24 F1 challenger is its sidepods, which have an extreme undercut to achieve optimum airflow.


Felipe Massa and his new team-mate, Jacques Villeneuve, will put the 2005 Sauber through its paces at Valencia this weekend.


New technical regulations called for a marked reduction in downforce, and Sauber technical director Willy Rampf said “the design team gave special attention to aerodynamics."


"Our experience with the C23 had clearly shown the significant influence of the sidepods and the rear bodywork on aerodynamics. That’s why the continuation of our development was consistently directed towards these areas, in which we have designed the car to be even more compact," he added.


Another change over the C23 is the positioning of the exhaust tailpipes, which have been integrated into the bodywork.


The car will be powered by the Petronas 05A engine – which is similar to the three-litre V10 used by Ferrari. The new regulations require the engine to last two race weekends. With regard to the gearbox, Sauber has reverted to a design of its own, “which has been made lighter, stiffer and more compact”, the team said.


Sauber also switched to Michelin tyres at the end of last season, and "we expect a measurable improvement from this change, and have certainly seen the first indications of this during initial test drives last year," team principal Peter Sauber said.


Sauber added, "Our goal (for 2005) is to further reduce the gap between ourselves and the frontrunners. (However), we won’t have any indications as to how well the individual teams have managed to adjust to the new regulations until after the season opener at Melbourne”.


Meanwhile, Ricardo Zonta set the pace at Jerez on Thursday. The Toyota test driver was at the wheel of an evolution of last year's car, and clocked a fastest lap of 1m16,672s to finish ahead of the two McLaren's of Raikkonen and Montoya.

Original article from Car