Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Sauber hoping for a change of fortune in 2015

(Sauber F1 Team)

The Sauber F1 Team head into the 2015 Formula One season hoping to rebuild following an extremely tough season in 2014. The team’s problems began during the winter testing period ahead of the start of the new season as they suffered problems with the new brake by wire system on their new C33 chassis.

This season Adrian Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg traded seats as Hulkenberg returned to the Sahara Force India Formula One team while Adrian Sutil moved to the Sauber F1 Team.

Esteban Gutierrez remained at the team for a second season having joined the Swiss based outfit last season. The team also signed Swiss former IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro as an affiliate driver in order for the 25 year old to obtain the necessary experience which would allow her to gain her FIA Super Licence which would have allowed her to take part in Grand Prix weekends.

De Silvestro completed a number of intensive test sessions with a two year old Sauber at Ferrari’s Fiorano test track however towards the end of the season it was announced that he had left the team.
De Silvestro was forced out of the team following a financial dispute between her management team and the Swiss team.

Following her exit from Sauber, De Silvestro announced that she had split from her long term manager amicably and would now return to America representing herself as she hopes to return to the IndyCar Series where she was very successful.

On November 1, the eve of the United States Grand Prix, Sauber announced that former Caterham F1 Team driver Marcus Ericsson has joined the team as a race driver for next season.

The Swedish driver will be joined at the team by former Williams Martini Racing Team test driver Felipe Nasr who will join the team and make his Formula One race debut at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 15.

The Sauber F1 Team also have a new primary sponsor in the form of Banco Do Brasil who join team from Williams.

The news of an all new line-up at the team came as a shock to their 2014 pairing Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez. However, Sauber F1 Team Principal Monisha Keltenborn stated that they have valid contracts with Ericsson and Nasr for 2015.

Ericsson made his debut for the team at the season ending Abu Dhabi test where he drove the C33. Felipe Nasr will get his first chance to drive for the team at the opening winter test session in Jerez which takes place from February 1-4.

© Ben Johnston 2014

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