Sauber to 'trade off' qualifying downforce

Sauber's technical director Willy Rampf believes that Formula 1's new regulations will have a special impact on this weekend's Austrian Grand Prix

Sauber to 'trade off' qualifying downforce

Rampf says that in previous years there has been a big aerodynamic set-up difference between qualifying and the race at the A1-Ring, to allow drivers a better chance to overtake. This year, however, all cars will race in the set-up in which they qualified - which could in turn lead to a jumbled starting grid or mixed-up race finishing order.

"In the past you needed high downforce in qualifying, but less downforce in the race because of the long, curving drag from Turn 1 down to the hairpin, Remus, at Turn 2," said Rampf. "The A1-Ring offers good overtaking opportunities and it is very important to maximise your top speed here to give the drivers an edge for overtaking as they approach the braking area.

"With the revised regulations for 2003 we will no longer have that option so we will have to find a compromise because, of course, you have to race with the same set-up you qualified. It will still be very important to overtake in the race, so we'll have to trade off some qualifying downforce as that will be the more effective option," he added.

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