The reborn Sauber team may not expect to win too much in 2010, but has emerged as the first of this year's Formula One contenders to set a date for the unveiling of its new car.
The Swiss outfit, which has re-emerged from its partnership with BMW via an ill-fated holding pattern under the auspices of Qadbak, is poised to confirm its second driver, a partner to Kamui Kobayashi, and has now revealed a date by which his identity should be known.
With many believing former McLaren test driver Pedro de la Rosa to be the man to bring experience to complement Kobayashi's youth and vigour, Sauber has confirmed that the covers will come off its 2010 challenger in Valencia on 31 January, the eve of the season's first full-blown test session. Team principal Peter Sauber, technical director Willy Rampf and 'drivers' will all be on hand at the unveiling, which will be Sauber's first in its own name since the 'partnership' with BMW began in 2005. A short afternoon programme is planned for the launch, with the covers coming off at 1430hrs alongside the Circuit Ricardo Tormo at Cheste.
Mercedes has hinted that it will also launch its 2010 contender, the follow-up to last year's double title-winning Brawn entry, towards the end of January but, so far, no other team has confirmed a date for the first appearance of its car.