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Sauber pit stop issue unresolved ahead of Australian GP

Sauber Pit Stop Solutions Yet to Arrive

The opening round of 2024 was a frustrating one for Sauber, who narrowly missed out on points with Zhou Guanyu. However, another development that was more concerning from the first race of 2024 came during the pit stops.

Whilst Zhou’s stop in Bahrain went without issues, the same cannot be said for his teammate Valtteri Bottas.

The Finn spent almost a minute waiting for the Sauber crew to remove and fit his four new tyres. Of course, this spelt the end of any chances for Bottas to score points in Bahrain.

A week later, in Jeddah, another pit stop failure (this time for the Chinese driver) hinted at a more systematic equipment problem.

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Bottas: New Equipment Not Ready for Melbourne

Valtteri Bottas confirmed to the media in Australia that changes are being prepared to eliminate this issue.

Unfortunately for the Hinwil-based team, these necessary alterations will not be ready for this weekend:

“We haven’t fixed the issue 100 per cent because there’s a lead time for certain components and materials that we need,” the Sauber driver explained.

“But I think we should be in a better place and I’ll have more confidence coming into the pits this weekend.

“Fingers crossed everything goes smooth and hopefully that way we can have clean races and fight for points.”

Zhou echoed a similar sentiment, stating that a complete redesign would be necessary for the team’s pit stops.

Operational excellence is crucial in such a tightly compact midfield, which is currently reliant on retirements from the top five teams.

Therefore, the sooner these improvements arrive, the better.

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Moving away from this current vulnerability, Sauber will be introducing their first upgrades of 2024 this weekend in Albert Park.

Though only small changes, they represent the beginning of the team’s development plan for the C44. After showing promising race pace in Bahrain and Jeddah, qualifying has been an issue for the team.

So far this year, Alpine are the only other team without an appearance in Q2.

Pirelli has brought the softest compound range this weekend, which will heighten the importance of tyre preparation – especially with the C5 tyres.

This places additional pressure on the Swiss team’s personnel to capitalise on their operating window. Overtaking is far from easy in Australia, so a good showing on Saturday will be crucial.


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