As the 2014 season draws closer, most teams are nearing the conclusion of their car’s design phase. Development has been going on for over a year of course, but the physical construction of the machines has only begun recently.
Sauber was the first team to announce this offseason that their car has passed all the mandatory FIA crash tests, meaning that the final tweaks going towards their car can be implemented confidently and without the anxiety that comes with an untested chassis.
Last year, Marussia had trouble passing some mandatory crash testing, and it hindered their time during preseason testing. With the 2014 regulations, having as much time as possible out on the track is so important. No team will want to worry about making sure their car is safe while every other team is out on the track testing new parts and getting ahead before the season begins.
Whether this early crash-test completion will have a major effect on their season is yet to be known, but certainly it will be a source of relief to the team as they work tirelessly to get their car ready for its unveiling.
Most teams will opt to unveil their cars on the eve of the first preseason test, meaning an early January launch is to be expected. Some teams, however, may opt to launch their cars on the day of the test at the track.
With the crash test passed, Sauber must now devote time into completing their driver lineup. Adrian Sutil, Esteban Gutierrez, Sergio Perez, Russian Sergey Sirotkin and, more recently, Paul di Resta, are known to be in talks with the Swiss team about a race seat for 2014.