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banner Friday, 25 January, 2002, 13:14 GMT
Sauber aim to consolidate
Felipe Massa (left) and Nick Heidfeld at the launch of the new Sauber C21 Formula One car
Felipe Massa (left) and Nick Heidfeld with the new C21
Sauber rolled out their new C21 car on Friday, as they bid to improve on last season's best-yet world championship placing of fourth.

Team principal Peter Sauber is again taking a risky approach with a newcomer to Formula One in 20-year-old Brazilian Felipe Massa.

The Swiss team signed Massa on the strength of just five tests after the Brazilian had won the European F3000 championship.

But Sauber have already unearthed one talented driver in Finn Kimi Raikkonen, who has moved to McLaren after his impressive form last year.

He said at Friday's launch: "We know that we are aiming high.

The new Sauber C21 in action
The new car in action
"We achieved an optimum result in 2001. From our point of view it was even a maximum.

"We will do our utmost to keep up last year's performance."

Raikkonen quickly silenced his critics in 2001, helping Sauber to their fourth place, despite a spectacular crash in Japan last October.

New driver Massa, hails from Sao Paolo - the same city as Formula One legend Ayrton Senna.

Playing catch-up

Sauber have provided Massa with masseur Joseph Lieberer who was a personal aide to Senna.

His services have been needed after testing as the sheer acceleration power of the engine prompts neckaches.

The new C21 is powered by last season's Ferrari engine and runs on Bridgestone tyres. The body is Sauber's own design.

German Nick Heidfeld, now in the second year of his three-year contract, will partner Massa, while Red Bull remains a team sponsor.

See also:

16 Jan 02 |  Formula One
Red Bull extend Sauber deal
08 Jan 02 |  Formula One
Toyota join F1 paddock
27 Nov 01 |  Formula One
Sauber set launch date
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