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Sauber unveils new C30 Ferrari-powered F1 challenger

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2011 Sauber-Ferrari C30 - Click above for high-res image gallery

Divorce can be particularly difficult on the children. Sauber found that out the hard way when BMW picked up and left at the end of 2009, leaving the team to fend for itself. With the Bavarian automaker's support, the Sauber team had turned from a solid midfielder to a front-running challenger, finishing the 2007 championship in second place. Last year, Sauber struggled with reliability issues and sponsor troubles to finish eighth in the constructors' standings.

If last season was a transition year for Sauber, this year will bring its opportunity to climb back up, and this is the car with which they hope to do so. Called the C30, the new car bears many of the same hallmarks adopted by its rival teams, with a high front nose, more sculpted side-pods and a slender rear section with an integrated diffuser design. It's engine is provided by Ferrari - just as it was last year and in the pre-BMW years - as is the regenerative braking system.

Perhaps most crucial, however, are the sponsors Sauber has brought on board for this season. By signing Sergio Perez, a promising young Mexican driver who won five GP2 races last season to finish second behind Williams' Pastor Maldonado, Sauber has recruited a number of Mexican sponsors, including Carlos Slim's Telmex and Cuervo tequila. So far, however, Sauber has been unable to attract Japanese sponsors to the team despite retaining Perez' returning wingman Kamui Kobayashi, who stands as the only Japanese driver on the grid, and the only contemporary Japanese driver to make it in F1 without the support of a Japanese automaker.

Will Sauber be able to pull itself back from the brink where it stood this time last year and mount a challenge for a couple of podium positions? Time will tell, but for now you can read more about the new car in the press release after the jump and ogle it in the high-resolution image gallery below.

Gallery: 2011 Sauber-Ferrari C30

[Source: Sauber]Continue reading Sauber unveils new C30 Ferrari-powered F1 challenger

Sauber unveils new C30 Ferrari-powered F1 challenger originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Feb 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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