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Sauber releases first pictures of its 2017 car

Sauber has launched its 2017 car, the C36, via its website and social media channels.

The Swiss team is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and the new C36 features a blue and gold livery paying tribute to its time in F1.

The car itself features the swept front and rear wings that are mandatory under F1's new aerodynamic regulations as well as larger barge boards and a fin on the engine cover. The C36 also features a split airbox above the driver's head -- a design unlike its previous cars.

The car's design was started under previous technical director Mark Smith, who left the team in March last year, but its development will be led by his replacement Jorg Zander. It will powered by a year-old Ferrari engine, which is expected to put the team at a disadvantage, especially as the season progresses and the 2017 power unit evolve.

It is the first car to be produced under Sauber's new owners Longbow Finance, and team boss Monisha Kaltenborn hopes it will see the team return to the midfield.

"Together with Longbow Finance S. A., we have great opportunites to be competitive again and to return to previous successes in Formula One," she said. "We want to position ourselves with a new approach, and we have already taken the first steps in order to build a solid foundation for the future."

"We clearly have to improve. With the Sauber C36-Ferrerai we have a solid basis as well as the resources to further develop the Sauber C36-Ferrari through the season. This will be important to establish in mid-field."

Zander expects the new regulations to favour big teams, but says there are opportunities for smaller outfits like Sauber.

"Basically, big teams also have an advantage when it comes to major changes in the regulations, but when the cards are reshuffled new opportunities always present themselves as well," he said. "With the tyres one might be able to mask deficits and get development concepts to work better."

Marcus Ericsson remains at the team for a third consecutive season, while Mercedes junior driver Pascal Wehrlein joins as his teammate. The car is expected to complete a filming day ahead of the first test, but will run for the first time in official testing on February 27. Wehrlein has already ruled himself out of the first test due to a back injury.

The Sauber is the second car to be revealed this season after Williams released a digital image of its new car last week.