Hinwil/Zurich - Sauber Petronas unveiled their C22 racer for the 2003 Formula 1 season, along with presenting a new sponsor, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), to international media representatives in Zurich. Team Principal Peter Sauber as well as drivers Nick Heidfeld and Heinz-Harald Frentzen are confident about running a very good season for 2003. "It is our goal to play a key role in the vanguard of teams chasing the top three," said Peter Sauber. "In view of seven competing works teams this is an ambitious goal, but I'm confident that we'll be able to reach it." In the previous two seasons, Sauber Petronas had achieved fourth and fifth place respectively in the Constructors' Championship.
The C22 is an entirely new car. "We've used a completely new design approach in creating this vehicle. Compared to its predecessor, we're expecting it to offer a significantly higher potential that we'll be able to exploit throughout the season," says Technical Director Willy Rampf. The C22 is powered by a new Petronas engine, which develops even higher levels of power and has a lower centre of gravity than last year's unit.
Nick Heidfeld who, in his third season with the team expressed optimism, also had his third opportunity of performing the roll-out of the new car, was particularly impressed by its remarkable reliability: "Although the C22 is new in practically every detail, the car has been running with absolute perfection right from the start. That's the right basis for scoring points regularly."
Having returned to SAUBER PETRONAS for the 2003 season, Heinz-Harald Frentzen is particularly pleased with the handling of the new car: „The C22 has an excellent balance, responding to any changes in the setup exactly the way I expect as a driver. I'm convinced that this car has a very high potential."
In addition to presenting the new car, Peter Sauber was able to announce another new sponsor: the Russian mobile telephone provider Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), with whom the team had just signed an agreement for the period of several years.
"In a difficult economic environment we've managed to lock in a package of solid financial backing," Peter Sauber said with obvious contentment. "Nine days ago, Red Bull decided to extend their partnership with us, and now we've been able to secure MTS as another sponsor. This underscores the appeal of our team. Together with our sponsors, PETRONAS and Credit Suisse, we now have a solid basis for our forward-looking strategy, which includes the construction of our ultra-modern wind tunnel adjacent to our Hinwil plant."