Sauber was the first of the two teams to unveil its 2010 challenger at Valencia’s Ricardo Tormo circuit on Sunday afternoon. The Ferrari-powered C29 is the team’s first car for the Hinwil squad since it was bought back from previous owner BMW by team founder Peter Sauber after the German manufacturer announced its pull-out from F1.
The C29 will be piloted by ex-Toyota stand-in Kamui Kobayashi and former McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa.
While still entered under the name of its predecessor, BMW Sauber, it is likely that the team will adjust its FIA entry to the Sauber name only.
Unveiled in a sponsorless black-and-white livery, the team is in serious need of sponsorship backing, although team boss Peter Sauber has confirmed that the budget for the 2010 season has been secured.
The C29 features a ‘shark fin’ engine cover, tight radiator packaging and a very complex front wing treatment. Given that the Ferrari engine was only confirmed late in the design process and following on from the team’s largely disastrous campaign in 2009, will this be the season that the team moves forward?
While de la Rosa comes with bucket loads of testing experience, he is hardly considered top-shelf F1 material. Kobayashi – if his form at Brazil and Abu Dhabi is anything to go by – will be exciting to watch!
Renault will launch its 2010 challenger later this afternoon.