Technical analysis of the Alfa Romeo Sauber C38: the small one also innovates

Sauber C38

Alfa Romeo Sauber has surprised with a test in which they have put roll your new weapon for the new season. Kimi Räikkonen was commissioned to test it in a private test to check that the new car works properly, and surprised to see some innovations of the Swiss team and also the decoration that I think is pretty nice with those burgundy red prints symbols of the French cards on his body. We do not know if this will be the final decoration, in fact, the official presentation has not yet been made, but it has no doubt surprised us and we will use the images captured to show it.

So with these images, we will do our analysis Alfa Romeo Sauber C38 and we finished the analysis cycle for the new cars presented this week. No doubt, despite being a modest team, this year has been transformed even more into a B team, something that worries Haas that is no longer "the spoiled child" of Ferrari and those of Maranello are turning more with Sauber being sponsored by Alfa Romeo, a brand that also belongs to the FIAT group as Ferrari.

C38 front-side

That agreement with Alfa Romeo it gives them a privilege not only to have an updated Ferrari engine and with all the advantages that this implies when it comes to receiving updates, technical personnel overturned with the equipment, etc., but it also takes them to share standard parts with their parent team. I mean with this, they're going to share Ferrari gearbox, rear suspension and Ferrari transmission, Ferrari power unit (obviously). For what Sauber this year will surprise and much in terms of performance, we saw it last year the big jump and this year could be within the Top10 with ease throughout the world.

That's what We add that part of the FIAT group receives a huge investment of money to spend on technology and development, which makes it undoubtedly grow. Without a doubt, the Swiss team has made a great agreement and has managed to move in the offices. In addition, the bad performance of Sebastian Vettel and the decision of the sudden signing of Leclerc to put under pressure Vettel, have also had a positive side effect for Sauber, which is to have Kimi Räikkonen, a very good driver and with a lot of experience that will surely help you ...

C38 front

If we focus in the front of the car, we can see some pontoons with a design similar to that seen in the McLaren MCL34, although the air intakes seem somewhat larger. Something that is strange, since Sauber has surprised in recent years with a "waist" rather thin. In addition, the shots are maximized in the bodywork as it seems to be a de facto standard in this year's models. This leaves a tighter area under them so that the air travels towards the rear area, as we have been insisting on the previous technical analysis.

The front suspension also resembles the of McLaren, and joins the two lower suspension arms in a single thicker fairing and for aerodynamic purposes. This is something that began to use Mercedes and that others have gradually been implementing in their cars in a similar way. As for the brake lines, they are lower than in other cars, and are quite pronounced in terms of width. In addition, they have a small aerodynamic appendage in its upper part.We've already seen two models this year that did it, while the rest opted for a bare tube (for the time being).

Sauber C38 front

The front wing closely resembles the Toro Rosso solution for this year. Of course it adapts to the new regulations, widening the dimensions and simplifying the endplates to the maximum, as well as clearing the entire area of ​​the ends to avoid using vortex generators and other elements to redirect the air and promote overtaking as we said. This will affect the aerodynamics, but if it really works to see more action on the track, welcome ... But let's go to the main planes. Instead of the usual 5 that we usually see, this time there are 4, since the last one is divided into two on one of its ends, but it joins a large carbon fiber plate on the rest of the rope.

Front wing, painted with the air flows where would they go

When lowering both profiles in the external zone, and having those points, they can generate vortices in a similar way to what was achieved last year, but adapting to the new regulations. These vortices manage to seal the sides of the flat bottom to generate an effect similar to that of the old skirts and generate a channel to improve the ground effect. Solution that could be copied by other teams for its advantages ...

In addition, another of the things that stand out from that last merged plane is that it has a great Gurney flap (that silver edge in L shape). This is not uncommon in the front wings, as we remember that it serves to prevent the air passing under the wing from separating and reduce the efficiency (generate drag and not so much downforce) when the angle of attack is very high. And, is that this merged wing really has a huge angle of attack against other designs we've seen. And it is so to generate the same downforce as other designs despite having less surface. Yes, it has less surface since, and this is where the innovative comes from, if you look at it it's like a kind of mound, since it lowers in shape with the way you approach the endplate. A design that we will see if it really works well and others copy it.

Sauber C38 side

We continue with this other view, which allows us to see the nose as wide and flat as it has. This is something that we saw last year, in fact, it is a similar solution, with an implementation that this year have taken from McLaren MCL33. It has three holes in its tip, one central and the two lateral ones that project the air that enters through them towards the rear area of ​​the nose that has those vertical profiles or skirts to generate a channel and that the air travels towards the rear area. In addition, we see that it has an S-Duct, with that slot just above the nose.

The next thing we can see is a complex airbox , which is not something new, we have already seen these designs in the past.In addition, it is seen in this image that it is a car with a considerable rake, and that follows the fashion imposed by Red Bull when others like McLaren (this year) and Mercedes for some years, it seems that they have left.

As for the average zone , we see a high complexity as usual, with bargeboards very worked with many profiles to redirect the air to the rear area and in that frontal ona of the bottom so important. As for the sidepods, we see that they have opted for a trend like that imposed by Red Bull and use that horizontal wing on the pontoon and a wing as a support just under the air intake that holds the lateral aerodynamic profiles. We have seen that he is not the only one who has copied or implemented this solution, also McLaren has done it and, of course, the creator of the trend: Red Bull. If you look at the single-seaters that follow this trend, they look like the famous X Wing of Star Wars.

Alfa Romeo Sauber C38 rear

In the rear area, note that it also surprises the absence of shark fin , as has also the McLaren MCL34. Very interesting to see that these brave people have risked this, only in the case of the McLaren we saw a small lower profile and in the Sauber you can not appreciate anything. We have a behind also compact, with tight motor cover and generating a channel to evacuate the hot air for its rear cut and that is elevated to leave under it a channel to go as much air as possible to the area of ​​the flat bottom just above the diffuser to help extract that air that travels under the car as intended.

Here we have been able to see the diffuser , something that the teams are very suspicious. And we can also see the current exhaust of the Ferrari, which has the two tubes of the waste valves on the exhaust and not on the sides as in the rest of the motorcyclists. Possibly to use for aerodynamic purposes and that these blow at certain times to improve the efficiency of the rear spoiler by accelerating the flow traveling under it or simply to reduce the width of the exhaust and tighten even more the engine cover (or both). Recall that in F1 not only implementations are made to get a benefit, but for several ...

As for the rear spoiler , it has a small central curvature. A wing that does not seem excessively large, with a double central support as we have seen in many cases. In addition, and with this I finish, we see some clean endplates of profiles in their faces, but conserving the slots or cotes that yes that continue maintaining and that was something that McLaren knew how to exploit very well.

It may interest you