Sauber admits to 'hiccup'

Team boss Peter Sauber has confessed that his team has to overcome what may be a fundamental design flaw in its new C24 after mixed fortunes for Jacques Villeneuve and Felipe Massa in its first major testing outings

Sauber admits to 'hiccup'

Although the new car impressed during its initial running at Valencia in Spain, troubles with its overall pace during a more recent test at Barcelona have indicated that the C24 may not be as quick as it initially looked.

The low-speed characteristics of the Valencia circuit often fail to expose major problems with cars - as was witnessed in 2004 when McLaren's troublesome MP4-19 lapped brilliantly at the track but struggled on higher-speed circuits.

The long high-speed corners at Barcelona, on the other hand, have traditionally proved to be a real test of a car's aerodynamics - and a machine that is quick at the home of the Spanish Grand Prix is usually quick everywhere.

Looking back on the Barcelona test, Sauber said: "Contrary to what we experienced at Valencia, we do not seem able to find a good balance on the Barcelona track.

"We lack speed and we presume there must be a hiccup somewhere. We have to work even harder to find out what goes wrong."

Sauber is well aware that the ultra low temperatures experienced at Barcelona may have been a factor, with the drivers unable to get satisfactory heat in their tyres, but then the conditions were the same for every other team.

The problems with the C24 are a surprise because the car is the first to have been produced entirely from the team's ultra high-tech wind-tunnel - which is one of the very best in F1.

But it is not all bad news for Sauber, because the C24 has proved to be very reliable. It has completed more than three grand prix distances with the latest generation engine.

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