The 2019 technical regulation changes are “a big opportunity” for Sauber to close the gap to the top teams even further, according to technical director Simone Resta.
A number of aerodynamic changes — including a wider and simplified front wing — will be introduced in an attempt to make it easier for cars to follow each other on track. With its new car concept and the latest Ferrari power unit marking a clear step forward this season, Resta says the focus is on continuing that progress next season.
“The trend so far has been good,” Resta said. “I think it’s fair to say that we are slowing down our development rate for the time being, and we are concentrating mostly on next year’s car, which is a big challenge but also a big opportunity for us to close even further the gap to the big ones. I hope we will be progressing a little bit in the next races and that we will be closer and closer to Q3 with both cars.”
A late change to the regulations has been proposed by the FIA in attempts to improve wing-mirror visibility for drivers, with the rear wing being raised. Although last-minute adaptations can hurt smaller teams with fewer resources, Resta insists the change is a manageable one.
“I think it doesn’t look to be a dramatic change. Of course, having the rules defined as early as possible helps all of us to just lay down the [fundamentals] of the car and work developing it but ultimately I think everyone has got a big engineering group behind us and we can adapt to it and follow it. And especially in a case like that where it’s done for the purpose of safety, so to improve the safety of the driver.”
Next year Sauber will benefit from the experience of Kimi Raikkonen, having re-signed the Finn on a two-year deal to replace Charles Leclerc who is moving up to Ferrari.