Tech Corner: Sauber Updates


Sauber’s upgrades package will not only provide a performance increase for this season but lay down some of the foundations for the C35, writes Matt Somerfield.

Sauber arrived in Singapore with an extensive upgrade package, featuring a new ‘short’ nose, front wing, front and rear brake ducts, sidepod cooling outlets, rear wing, twin element Y100 winglet and diffuser. The package will not only provide a performance increase for this season but lay down some of the foundations for the C35.

Please click on the following links in order to see images of the changes.

As the regulations in regards to the nose seem as though they’ll be carried over for 2016 the team have opted to invest in a shorter version. The new design is similar to Red Bull and McLaren’s approach with the stubby central section placed further back over the front wings neutral central section, albeit not reaching as far back over the neutral section as the aforementioned, as without their budget getting a shorter iteration through the crash test can be costly.

It’s important to realise that one of the major reasons why the teams opt to run a shorter nose is that the airflows interaction with the neutral section improves the flow structures downstream. As a by-product of this the airflow that travels on the underside of the nose is often improved too.

Having introduced a new front wing concept back in China (upper of the two wings) the team have never actually raced it. However in Singapore the C34 was treated to a revised front wing, which does carry over some design features from the none-raced wing.

Featuring a revised upper flap (highlighted in yellow) it’s now divided into two almost its full length, which with the now declined mainplane will reshape the Y250 vortex, improving the flow along the cars centreline. Assisting the main cascade an ‘r’ cascade has also been added (highlighted in green), which will help to turn airflow around the front tyre reshaping the wake shed by the tyre.

The endplate and endplate canard are descendants of the China spec wing and will not only change how the wing creates downforce but due to the differing pressure gradient it’ll change how airflow moves around the front tyres too.

The team have also revised the front brake duct, moving and redesigning the fin from the top corner, placing it atop the cooling inlet instead (highlighted in red), in much the same way Mercedes did at the start of the season. The fin (highlighted in green) creates a vortex that helps to control how the front tyres wake impinges on the sidepods performance.

At the rear of the car the team were taking no chances with the temperatures in Singapore, increasing the size of the sidepods cooling outlets (highlighted in green), with some of the hot air being released ahead of the rear suspension elements (highlighted in green).

The rear wing has also seen some attention from the team with a revised mainplane and bowed top flap both of which require the assistance of their new double tier Y100 winglet mounted between the twin centre mounting pylons. The additional chord length of the flaps would be insurmountable without the Y100 winglet which helps to delay separation, improving downforce at low speeds.

The changes both downstream and to the rear wing have enabled the team to make changes to their diffuser. The ‘U’ bend previously preferred by the team has been removed with access to the starter now made through a hinged flap, like the rest of the field. The ‘U’ did however assist in overcoming the steeper angle of attack in the central section of the diffuser and so the boat tail has been redesigned in order to deal with this.

Matt Somerfield