BMW Sauber Ferrari C29

Country: Switzerland
Team Principal: Peter Sauber
Debut: 2006 Bahrain GP
Race Starts: 70
Victories: 1
Podiums: 17
Poles: 1
Points: 308
Constructors’ Championships: 0
Drivers: Pedro de la Rosa; Kamui Kobayashi
BMW Sauber       
Kobayashi Jerez

This team could be the dark horse of the 2010 season. Despite the complete upheaval that the team has undergone in recent months following the withdrawal of BMW and protracted sale back to its founder, Peter Sauber, everything seems to have clicked into place.

In is typical, cigar-chewing style, he has kept things efficient and simple. But on things is glaringly obvious: the lack of sponsors and financial resources.

Despite assurances that he has a budget in place to keep the team humming along during this season, he will need to pull out all stops to ensure he secures the finances to keep the operation afloat into 2011.

Fortunately, the new C29 has, out of the box, appeared to have the potential needed to help the sponsors come knocking. Both drivers have featured high up the timesheets in pre-season testing, but there is still some muttering in certain circles that this is more to do with running the car on fumes rather than actual outright pace. Bahrain will be the telling story…

One hopes that the team will feature at least at the top end of the midfield and occasionally give the frontrunners a fright by threatening for the odd podium. The biggest hurdle will boil down to being able to develop the car all season long – Saubers have typically started a season strongly, and then disappeared into anonymity by the year-end due to a lack of upgrades.

The driver pairing is an unusual mix of youth and experience. The paddock praised Kamui Kobayashi’s all-out approach in his two outings with Toyota at the end of the season, but is this form he can retain for a full season, or will 2010 be like his very ordinary GP2 seasons?

Pedro de la Rosa is a questionable choice. Yes, he has a wealth of testing experience, and will be useful to develop the car. But in spite of his junior category pedigree, he has never proven himself to be championship-winning material and has only delivered a few sparkling drives. Will he have what it takes to remain competitive this year? Let’s hope so for his sake…

 

Hits

  • The team’s immediate future is secure, and Herr Sauber is back in charge.
  • Good pre-season testing form has bolstered the team’s prospects to create a few surprises this year.

Misses

  • The lack of sponsorship might hurt the team’s cashflow and budget to develop the car all season long.
  • The ‘BMW’ moniker in the name – hopefully Peter changes it to its traditional name soon!
  • Did he opt for the best driver pairing?

What defines success in 2010?

  • Consistently perform in the upper midfield pack and achieve at least a couple of podium finishes.
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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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