New Sauber 'quite different'

Sauber is gearing up for the first run of its new C24 at Valencia in Spain on Friday, with Felipe Massa revealing the team's 2005 challenger is set to be 'quite different' from its predecessor

New Sauber 'quite different'

The Swiss outfit was on the receiving end of claims last year that it had copied Ferrari's dominant 2002 car in the design of its C23, but such comments are not expected to be repeated this time out as the new car nears completion.

Massa will give the car its first shake-down runs on Friday and Saturday, before former world champion Jacques Villeneuve takes over testing duties on Sunday. The team will then switch its efforts to Barcelona next week for a more thorough evaluation of the car.

Speaking about the new machine, Massa said: "The car is quite different from last year's one. We could have followed basically the C23 lines, but we have decided for a brand new project. A new car allows us to improve the balance, the weight distribution and the chassis stiffness.

"We will just check all systems and make sure that they are working well. There is no need to be quick. Providing that the car is okay, we will try to give it as much mileage as possible. It is also important to check its reliability. In fact, this week will serve to get the drivers and the team used to the car.

"If everything goes fine, we will begin to work on settings next week in Barcelona."

Sauber could be set for one of its most competitive seasons ever following a switch to Michelin tyres for 2005. The move resulted in the outfit setting some pace-setting times during pre-Christmas testing last year, although the team was running with high 2004-levels of downforce.

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