Race: German G.P. 1995
Drivers : Heinz Harold Frentzen, Karl Wendlinger
Jean Cristophe Boullion
Designer : Leo Ress
Engine : Ford V10 (Zetec)
Model Parts : 106
Decals : 64
Cost : £28.00
Sauber first entered Formula One in 1993 after many years carrying the Mercedes Benz standard in Sports Car Racing. The Sauber C12 with its Ilmor engine, amazingly scored 2 championship points in its very first race, driven by JJ Lehto and by the end of the 1993 season had scored a total of 9 points (Lehto 5, Wendlinger 4).
The 1994 season produced the C13, which became unlucky for Karl Wendlinger when he suffered serious head injuries in a practice crash at the Monaco G.P. Karl was in coma for nearly three weeks and never recovered to a competitive standard in F1 again. By the end of the season the team had managed to score a total of 11 points, but lost the Ilmor (re-badged as Mercedes) engine to Mclaren for the 1995 season.
For 1995, Sauber joined forces with Ford. In principle the Ford V10 Zetec engine (1994 championship winner with Benetton) was a coup for Peter Sauber. However, the C14 chassis had been designed for the Ilmor / Mercedes engine and the Ford was heavier, higher and longer than the Mercedes, as a consequence the team never really managed to balance the chassis all season.
The highly regarded Heinz Harold Frentzen joined the team alongside Wendlinger, but after 3 races Wendlinger was replaced by their inexperienced test driver Jean Cristophe Boullion, when it became apparent that Wendlinger was off the pace. The team actually performed quite well over the course of the season, finishing with 18 points and 7th in the constructors championship.
As usual this Tameo kit comes with excellent instructions, A beautifully cast White metal body and plenty of photo-etched parts. Two sets of decals are supplied in case of mistakes, along with two standing driver figures with helmet and overall decals. A colour photograph sheet with pictures from the German GP is supplied and a colour paint chip to help in reproduction of the exact colour shade.
As with all Tameo kits I build, I started by cleaning up the body and drilling the holes. On the Sauber there is very little sanding as the join lines are very good. The only problem was below the airbox, where there was a bit of fiddly cleaning up required. Next the front and rear wings were made up, as usual the rear wing was very fiddly, but worth taking time to get perfectly square. The bargeboards were also prepared at this time, involving bending to shape with the template provided.
Next, the front wing body and bargeboards were sprayed. I tend to mix my own paint colours and I'm very happy with the outcome of the colour on this car. I then left the paint to dry completely for a couple of days, whilst continuing with the rest of the build.
The suspension, brake and wheel assemblies tend to be the same on all Tameo kits and the Sauber C14 is no exception. When these parts were completed, they were brush painted. The chassis, seat and venturi tunnel were made up next, then sprayed matt black. The next job was to add the seat belts, they are very tricky to bend and fit in position on the seat, but look very realistic when finished.
When the paint was completely dry, the decals were added to the body. The C14 doesn't have too many sponsors so this didn't take too long (unlike Minardi who seem to have hundreds of sponsors !!). After all the decals were fitted and dried out three coats of clearcoat were added, this is always a critical stage because if it goes wrong the whole model can be ruined. Fortunately this went well on the Sauber and it was left to dry again for a couple of days.
When completely dry the chassis was screwed to the body. The front and rear wings were then glued in position and the suspension and wheel assemblies were fitted to the body, then repeatedly adjusted until the car sat flat on all four wheels. Finally the bargeboards, mirrors and aerials were fitted in position.
I'm reasonably happy with the finished model, although being a perfectionist, I can always see parts I'm not quite happy with, but then that gives me an excuse to start another kit. March Ford 761 here I come …………