What Sauber sees in its ’inside-out, back-to-front’ pull-rod F1 suspension


As a part of a push to be extra aggressive with its 2024 C44 design, Sauber has made some intensive adjustments to the automotive that Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu will race this season.

One of the crucial intriguing design shifts is in its suspension format, with the squad altering to the pull-rod entrance suspension format that Pink Bull and McLaren have solely put to good use within the present ground-effect period.

Whereas a pull-rod format on the entrance had fallen out of favour with the earlier technology of automobiles, the potential aerodynamic benefits it provides for ground-effect equipment have began to turn into extra apparent.

Sauber technical director James Key, who oversaw McLaren choosing the pull-rod entrance when he labored there beforehand, reckons the aero beneficial properties far outweigh what’s clearly not a really perfect resolution from a mechanical perspective as a result of elements find yourself in a tough to entry location.

“Aerodynamically, it is completely the suitable factor to do and it does have a Positive impact,” Key instructed Autosport.

“It’s all about managing your entrance tyre wake, and there are lots of different sophisticated features you attempt to generate across the tyre.

“It is one of many few units you’ve got obtained between the entrance wing and the remainder of the automotive. So that you wish to use it to good benefit aerodynamically.

“The drawback after all is mechanically. It is completely not what you wish to do in any respect. It is inside-out and back-to-front: it isn’t a pleasant suspension design as such.”

Sauber C44

Photograph by: Sauber F1 Crew

Key mentioned making the transfer away from a widely known push-rod idea was not simple, however he reckoned his group had the power to beat any downsides.

“The precise problem, when you get your aerodynamics to work round it, is to beat all of the mechanical compromises,” he mentioned. “I feel we have a few steps we have to do, as a result of it’s powerful to try this, however they’ve accomplished an incredible job as a primary ever try at Sauber at a pull-rod.”

PLUS: The high-stakes design theory that Sauber hopes is key to 2024 F1 progress

Key defined the choice for Sauber to maneuver to a pull-rod format was made earlier than he began work there final September – and he admitted he was “delighted” to see the selection that had been made.

He additionally doesn’t count on Sauber to be the one group to make the transfer to pull-rod entrance suspension, primarily based on how Pink Bull and McLaren have gotten a lot out of it.

“I might count on others to comply with it as a result of, basically, it is the suitable factor to do,” he mentioned. “I feel you’re internet higher regardless that there are compromises. You might be internet higher with that configuration.

“The pull-roll [versus] push-rod debate on the rear is not a speaking level actually. It’s mechanically higher to go push-rod for varied packaging causes. There’s not a lot in it.

“However the pull-rod on the entrance is a distinct story. I believe others will choose it up as properly.”

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