Sauber sets conservative goals at launch

Peter Sauber has said that his eponymous Formula 1 team is not aiming for wins this year, but that he hopes his private team can challenge among manufacturer-backed works teams.

Sauber sets conservative goals at launch

Speaking at the launch of the C22 in Switzerland today (Sunday), Sauber revealed that he has set his team the conservative goal of leading the chase behind F1's top three teams.

Sauber is one of only three privateer teams left in F1, joining Jordan and Minardi as the only squads without manufacturer engine deals. However, the Swiss team feels that it can compete with the majority of the works teams, save for Ferrari, Williams and McLaren.

"It is our goal to play a key role in the vanguard of teams chasing the top three, toe-to-toe with Renault," said Sauber. "Everyone of these manufacturers must have the goal of winning the world championship.

"The entire team is highly motivated. Naturally, it has to be the aim of every F1 team to win a grand prix one-day. For the time being we are not aiming quite that high, but we want to play an important among the pursuing teams and to compete at a high level with the works teams."

The Ferrari-powered C22 has already the best part of a month testing before today's launch, so the team is already aware of its strengths and weaknesses. "Compared to its predecessor the C22's basic potential is much greater so that we will be able to improve the car continuously throughout the season," said the team's technical director Willy Rampf. "Our objective was not merely to make the C22 more efficient, but most of all to ensure that it will react less sensitively from an aerodynamic point of view."

The team will run a pair of German drivers, with Nick Heidfeld joined by Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who is returning to the team that gave him his F1 debut. "Since I left the team [at the end of 1996] it has made enormous progress," he said. "Regarding professionalism, it compares favourable with any other team."

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