The new Sauber C23, unveiled yesterday [Monday] in Salzburg, has failed its mandatory crash test.

Sauber technical director Willi Rampf admitted to Reuters that the new car, to be driven by Giancarlo Fisichella and Felipe Massa in 2004, will have to re-take the test later this month.

"We tried to make everything smaller and I think we paid the price for it," he said.

Sauber will hope that the cars failure to pass the test will not lead to problems, like McLaren had with the ill-fated MP4-18A which also failed its crash test and never got onto the race track.

Despite the test failure, Sauber are hopeful that the C23 will be a step forward from the C22 that carried the team to sixth overall in last season's constructors' championship. The car will use the seven speed gearbox found in the 2003 Ferrari and will also be powered by the latest Ferrari engines, again re-badged as Petronas power plants.

Rampf also admitted to Reuters that Sauber would join Ferrari and Renault in looking at the radical new nose unveiled last week on the new Williams-BMW FW-26.

"I think everyone will be looking at that again," he said.



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