New Sauber to debut in Valencia

The 10th anniversary celebrations of Petronas's involvement in Formula 1 - and the launch of the Sauber C24 - have been cancelled as a mark of respect to the victims of the tsunami disaster in South East Asia. The death toll in Malaysia is only around 68, with 299 people injured, the majority of the these being on the island resort of Penang, where 52 died. Compared to other countries in the region this is a very small total, given that nearby Indonesia is estimating a death toll of 94,000 but there is great sensitivity in Asia at the moment and it was felt best not to be drawing attention to Formula 1 programmes at a time when there is need for much investment in reconstruction. Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak says that initial estimates indicate that the tsunami disaster may cost Malaysia around $26m. One of the major costs will be the replacement of the Malaysian fishing fleet while the government is promising money for those who have lost their houses.

Jean Todt, the boss of Ferrari was in Malaysia when the tsunami struck but he was in the city of Ipoh, 75 miles from the coastline and so was not under any threat.

Sauber will nopt now have an official car luanch and the new new C24 will appear for the first time at the Valencia testing between January 14-16.

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