JANUARY 26, 1998
Sauber's Viennese waltz
PETER SAUBER unveiled his new F1 car in Vienna last week with the gentle accompaniment of a Viennese waltz in the magnificent setting of the Orangery at the Schonbrunn Palace. The Sauber Petronas C17 is the latest design of Leo Ress's team of engineers at Hinwil, in Switzerland. It is powered by an updated version of the Petronas engine, which has been produced by Ferrari engineers at Maranello with input from the Sauber Petronas engine department under Osamu Goto. The car will be driven by Jean Alesi and Johnny Herbert with Jorg Muller named as the reserve and test driver.
The Sauber sponsorship package remains largely unchanged this year with continued support from Petronas and from Austrian energy drink company Red Bull. The color scheme is somewhat different thanks to the involvement of Fabrizio Giugiaro of Italdesign, who was asked to come up with a more striking paint job.
There have been rumors circulating in recent months that former F1 driver Gerhard Berger is to have some role at Sauber and Gerhard was an unexpected visitor at the launch, although he was not there in any official capacity.
The C17 is expected to be shaken down this week at the Ferrari test track at Fiorano and will then appear in Barcelona in the first week of February.
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