New Sauber technical director Mark Smith has already identified an issue with the cooling of the team’s current car he feels needs improvement heading into the 2016 Formula 1 season.
Although Smith has claimed his impact on next year’s car will be “limited” due to his arrival at the team in mid-July, he is quickly trying to play catch-up. Sauber started the season positively in Australia, but since then performances and results have proven hard to come by for drivers Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.
With 25 years of experience in F1, Sauber is hoping Smith can play his part in swiftly propelling the team into the points on a regular basis.
Assessing the changes required, Smith said: “We need to be a bit more optimum with our cooling, and I’m talking about a trade-off between aero performance and cooling.
“It was quite difficult for the guys this time last year because it was more of an unknown, now it’s more known as we go into next year, so we should be able to get closer to the optimum situation.
“The key thing is to ensure we extract the maximum from the car we have. It’s been evident we started the season in a very strong position, but it has since been apparent the car has performed either better or worse subject to certain types of circuits.
“What we’re all working hard to try and do now is to understand why, and come up with some solutions that enable us to extract the maximum on a more consistent basis.”
Given Sauber’s limited budget, Smith recognises he has to hit the mark with potential solutions to problems first time out.
“I have my thoughts on what we need to do, I don’t think they are that significant, but like many things nothing happens overnight,” added Smith. “The ingredients are all there, but what we have to do is make sure we get most things right first time. We won’t have the luxury of saying ‘OK, that didn’t work, let’s try again’.
“So that’s going to be one of the key focuses, making sure we select the right course of action with the design of the car for next year, in particular. And that’s one of the biggest differences between the smaller and bigger teams in that with the former the options are limited, and that is the biggest challenge.
“We will need to figure out what is right for us, with our architecture, with the tools we have, and follow that as best as we can.”