Sauber launch C29

BMW Sauber has became the third team to officially launch its 2010 challenger with the unveiling of the C29 at a low-key event at the Valencia circuit.

The car is the first from the Swiss squad since the return of Peter Sauber to the helm, after the German manufacturer left the sport at the end of last season.

“The last few months have been very intense for us,” said Sauber. “First we had to battle to secure the survival of the team and then we focused on putting a strong set-up in place for the future.

“The technical preparation of the 2010 car has continued uninterrupted and according to plan since the spring of 2009, despite all the turmoil. We have a long tradition of bringing together an up-and-coming youngster and an experienced campaigner as a driver combination – and it’s an approach that has brought us a lot of success.

“Pedro has been working at the highest level technically for many years and for a top team, and we can benefit as a team from this experience. Young Kamui also has a lot to offer us, and last year he impressed me particularly in Abu Dhabi.”

This season will see the highly-rated Kamui Kobayashi partner the experienced Pedro de la Rosa  and both drivers are committed to bringing success to the Hinwil-based team after a troubled few months.

“At last I can feel like a proper racing driver again,” said De la Rosa, who spent seven years as McLaren’s test driver prior to his return to the grid. “I’ve really missed the competition out on the track. At the same time, though, I’ve learned a lot technically and on the systems side, and now I want to bring that knowledge to the team.”

Kobayashi, who took the Formula One by storm after two stunning drivers at the end of last year for Toyota, added: “I’m very proud that Peter Sauber has shown so much faith in me and I’m determined not to disappoint him. My aim is that he will end up being proud of me as well.”

Although the car is devoid of any major sponsorship, the team’s future does appear to be in place after announcing a number of deals in the lead up to the launch.

As well as featuring a a shark fin similar to the one found on McLaren’s MP4-25, the C29 sports a number of detailed aerodynamic pieces including a striking “tusked” front wing.

“The development of the BMW Sauber C29 has seen the team build on the experience gained last year and the improvement in performance over the final third of the season,” said technical director

“However, the new regulations banning refuelling during the race and stipulating a reduced width for the front tyres have required significant changes to the car’s design.”

This year’s challenger will be use a Ferrari engine and gearbox.