Sauber F1 Team Embraces Suspension Shift Alongside Red Bull and McLaren

Published Categorized as Cars No Comments on Sauber F1 Team Embraces Suspension Shift Alongside Red Bull and McLaren
Sauber F1 team joins Red Bull and McLaren in suspension shift

The decision to pursue the pull-rod suspension design was made by Red Bull and McLaren during the implementation of the current regulations in 2022, a period when James Key, now the technical director at Sauber, was still with McLaren.

The remarkable performance of Red Bull’s RB18 and RB19 models, along with McLaren’s notable improvement last season, naturally prompted other teams to explore similar avenues. Consequently, Sauber opted to adopt the pull-rod suspension configuration, aiming to gain aerodynamic advantages in tandem with an entirely revamped bodywork package.

James Key, who commenced his tenure at Sauber in September, emphasized that the C44 marks a significant departure from its underwhelming predecessor. “It is virtually a completely new car, with a few carry-over areas at the rear of the car,” Key noted. “The team had to take an ambitious direction well before I joined. There are many mechanical changes, some of which you can’t see at all, but some are very visible.”

Sauber F1 Team Embraces Suspension Shift Alongside Red Bull and McLaren
Sauber F1 Team Embraces Suspension Shift Alongside Red Bull and McLaren (Credits: Autosport)

He further elaborated on the extensive modifications: “The front suspension is completely new, a tough and ambitious project for a team of our size, there are many aerodynamic changes, of course, as would be expected given that this remains the primary area of development – so, overall, the car will really look quite different to last year’s car.”

Acknowledging the trend towards convergence in design choices since the implementation of the 2022 regulations, Key stressed the importance of exploring new ideas. “Whilst those trends will probably continue into year three, there may be people who start bucking the trends as well, and we’ve got to watch out for that,” he remarked.

Key emphasized the significance of striking a balance between bold aerodynamic advancements and mechanical alterations, acknowledging the challenges involved. “It is quite an important project to try and get the balance right, but the team has done a fantastic job with a very difficult project to produce something that should function as planned,” he said.

He highlighted the dominance of aerodynamics in shaping the external features of the car, particularly the bodywork, which has become a major battleground for performance gains.

“The bodywork is a massive battleground in these cars, much more so than in the previous generation,” Key explained. “We can see trends developing there, and the direction we have taken is a lot more extreme than what we did last year.”

Key also sheds light on the innovative approach taken in the design of the car’s underfloor, emphasizing its pivotal role in generating downforce. “Of course, underneath the car, the floor is where the majority of downforce is generated,” he noted. “We have quite a different approach, a new concept, in that area, and it seems to be a pretty prolific solution at the moment.”

The new Sauber C44 will undergo its first on-track testing during a filming day in Barcelona on Friday.


By Park-Shin Jung

I am Park-Shin Jung. I am a professional content writer for cars.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments