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  BMW Sauber F1.07

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Country of origin:Germany
Produced in:2007
Source:Company press release
Last updated:January 22, 2007
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Click here to download printer friendly versionTime was of the essence in the development of the F1.06, the first car developed by the BMW Sauber F1 Team. Indeed, BMW only took the decision to purchase a majority stake in the Sauber team in June 2005. The components already in the midst of a lengthy development period (the chassis, engine and transmission) were moulded into an overall package - and with notable success, as the results over the course of the season just gone can testify. However, the shortage of time available meant that compromise was unavoidable in certain areas.

The BMW Sauber F1.07 started out from a very different basis. Work on the concept began in April 2006 and took shape as part of a close cooperation between the chassis experts in Hinwil and their colleagues in Munich responsible for the powertrain, i.e. the engine and transmission, and the electronics. Priorities were set out from day one and all the aspects of the project brought together to create a harmonious overall package. To this end, the most significant change is the switch to a single tyre supplier in Bridgestone. In accordance with the stipulations of the FIA, the Japanese company has produced tyres which offer less grip as a means of lowering cornering speeds.

Aerodynamics has been a key area in Formula One for a long time now, but the advent of the single tyre supplier format in 2007 will raise its importance even further. All of which explains why the BMW Sauber F1 Team top brass gave the expansion of the aerodynamics department top priority. The team's use of the wind tunnel in Hinwil was gradually increased, with a move initially from one to two shifts, and from there to a round-the-clock three-shift system in late October 2006. This has given the team parity in this area with its rivals - who have long had comparable systems in place - and fulfilled a central requirement in achieving its ambitious aims.

As always, the key is to enhance aerodynamic efficiency. However, almost as important this year is the need to develop a package that functions as well as possible through corners. Here, the front wing has an influential role to play, largely dictating the flow of air around the front tyres. It has been completely newly developed and forms a harmonious unit with the likewise totally new nose section, which is shorter and sits higher than its predecessor. This results in a reduction in its weight, but also places extra demands on the engineers when it comes to passing the FIA crash tests. The most important aspect of this development, though, is that the wing channels a large amount of air under the car, allowing the underbody and diffusor to work to their full potential.

The cooling intakes are somewhat larger than those on the 2006 car and represent part of a new cooling concept which is more effectively integrated into the overall package and designed to ensure greater air throughput. The air is diverted upwards to maximum effect, improving aerodynamic efficiency compared to last year's car, especially in high outside air temperatures.

The designers built on the knowledge gained with the F1.06 in the development of the rear, giving the tail an even slimmer and lower profile in order to further optimise the air flow around the rear wing. The basis for these modifications is provided by the compact quick shift gearbox and cleverly positioned hydraulic elements. Also integrated into the design are the exhaust pipes, whose form was defined to maximise performance and fit harmoniously into the overall package. The section underneath the rear wing is a totally new development.

More stringent regulations governing rear-end collisions have meant that the rear crash element is now more voluminous overall and also has a modified form. The lower positioning of this element has required a totally revised design for the centre section of the diffusor. The engineers were also instructed to reduce the car's weight, while maintaining its rigidity. The affects the monocoque, which is made up of up to 60 layers of carbon fibre in places, as well as individual components.

The construction of the suspension elements is totally new and, at the front axle, dictated primarily by aerodynamics. The raised nose section mean that the wishbones slant downwards at a striking angle. The kinematics have been modified in response to the introduction of the standard Bridgestone tyres. The rear axle was also modified to further improve traction.

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