DECEMBER 16, 1996

Sauber flat out for February

THE Sauber Formula 1 team is hard at work in Hinwil, Switzerland, in an effort to produce the Sauber-Petronas C16 chassis by the middle of February.

The design of the car has been held up because of complicated negotiations with Ferrari over the supply of Ferrari's 1996 V10 engines to Sauber - these will be badged as the "Petronas V10".

The team's chief designer Leo Ress had to wait for a final decision before he could launch into a final round of aerodynamic work at the Swiss Aerospace facility at Emmen. This will be finished by Christmas and then the team is scheduled to get the first car ready to run by around February 15. This will give Sauber drivers Johnny Herbert and Nicola Larini just two weeks in which to test before the cars are flown out to Melbourne for the opening round of the F1 World Championship. The team is expected to spend most of that time in Spain and/or Portugal so as to get the maximum amount of testing possible. Once the season has started Sauber will only be allowed to test at Monza.