Sauber's technical director James Key believes the team's pushrod suspension design will be beneficial for the Swiss squad. The Hinwil, Switzerland-based team has followed Ferrari's route, moving away from Red Bull Racing-led route of a pullrod suspension despite the team's success during the 2010 season.
Sauber will be using Ferrari's engine and gearbox, as well as KERS and hydraulics this year. Key reckons said the pushrod design used by his team has a lot of important advantages.
"The gearbox obviously dictates the in-board suspension points," said Key during the launch of the C30. "It's got this forward-swept pushrod design, which is kind of a nice compromise because it means you've got access to all the bits and pieces on top of the box to set the car up, and it frees up the volume at the back of the car for the diffuser, which is one of the compromises for the gearbox design.
"So, we've obviously taken the points that we get from the gearbox and we've designed our own solutions on top of the gearbox, so it's our suspension design but in line with Ferrari's. Like I say, geometry is kind of dictated by the design of the box, but then all the elements, and the way which they work on top of the box are all Sauber parts. The good news is that we started talking to Ferrari early about what you do with the 2011 gearbox because the diffusers have really changed that. And our opinions and directions were surprisingly close, so once Ferrari designed the box we discussed it with them and it was actually pretty compatible with what we wanted to do ourselves."
He believes the design will be especially beneficial to cope with the unknown demands of the new Pirelli tires.
"I think it helps," he said. "There is going to come a point when they get a direction on this, and then it will be less of an issue, but it seems to work pretty well. It makes everything accessible, which is important for the tires. And, to be honest, I think that the way it is set up, you have all the volume at the front of the gearbox. It's really a small box, it's a very neat design from Ferrari."
Key also claimed the design meant compromises from an aerodynamic point of view.
"No, not at all. We are fairly happy with it. Before we knew which direction Ferrari was heading into, we sort of expected what the pushrod would do in the wind tunnel. And it was OK – there wasn't any big difference going from pullrod to pushrod."