Emphasis On Aerodynamic Stability
The most conspicuous changes that define the Sauber C36-Ferrari due to the new regulations are:
- The cars are becoming wider again, from 1.80 to 2 metres.
- The tyres are 25 % wider.
- The front and rear wings are becoming wider as well.
- The diffuser is being enlarged.
- In total, this means more downforce, more grip and, as a result, faster lap times.
Consequently, work on the concept of the new car was focused on reducing the drag coefficient (due to the wider tyres) to a minimum as well as achieving a significant weight reduction (despite the minimum weight having been raised to 728 kg), for instance by means of the new roll structure. In certain areas of lightweight design the team went to the limits. The aero concept includes the optimisation of the front and rear wings and the underfloor. The radiator, the sidepods and the bodywork were designed to be as slim as possible.
Clear progress was also achieved in terms of additional downforce. The key here is to keep downforce, which is generated via driving, and remain stable in various track sections. Jörg Zander, Technical Director, explains the changes in the development procedure in more precise terms: “We put greater emphasis on aerodynamic stability as opposed to maximising downforce.”
The Sauber C36-Ferrari is a car which, due to the new technical regulations, has been redesigned from scratch. There is not a single part that could be adopted from its C35 predecessor. In 2017, the Ferrari powertrain in the Abu Dhabi 2016 configuration will be used initially together with the C36. One of the changes this season is that only four of the six units of a powertrain can be changed without penalty. In the next few years the number will be further reduced, which is why the manufacturers are going to put greater emphasis on the durability than on the top speed of their units.
Jörg Zander regards the 2016-spec engine as “a tried and tested system with higher durability to begin with.” In addition, with respect to the design resources in planning the development of the C36, Jörg Zander says that “being able to get started early and defining the engine environment was an advantage because the team was familiar with the engine and the transmission as well as the cooling requirements the engine entailed.”
Courtesy of Sauber F1® Team / Sauber Motorsport AG