Motor Sport News - - F1 Preview: Teams -

Sauber was true to form in 2015 – it started well, and then grad­u­ally slipped back in to mid­field ob­scu­rity as the de­vel­op­ment war pro­gressed and other teams brought mod­i­fi­ca­tions to their cars.

Tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Mark Smith joined from Cater­ham at the be­gin­ning of 2015 and has had an in­flu­ence on the new C35. It also has a po­tent Fer­rari en­gine, which is a bonus.

Brazil­ian Felipe Nasr is a tal­ented prospect who is some­times un­fairly tagged with be­ing a pay driver. He might well bring bud­get, but he has the abil­ity to back it up. Mar­cus Eric­s­son is a solid sta­ble­mate who is never go­ing to tear up any trees. There is a very Ital­ian feel to the new Amer­i­can Haas team. It has a chas­sis built by Dal­lara, a pow­er­plant from Fer­rari and that should be enough to put the team in with a shout of trou­bling the up­per mid­field.

There are some ex­pe­ri­enced F1 hands be­hind the scenes too. All the por­tents are that this will be one of grand prix rac­ing’s best-pre­pared new­com­ers for some while.

Al­lied to that, it has two ex­pe­ri­enced driv­ers at the wheel. Ro­main Gros­jean is a proven prod­uct, while Mex­i­can Este­ban Gu­tier­rez re­turns to the top flight af­ter a sea­son as Fer­rari test driver.

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