The Sauber C16
was the car with which the Sauber Formula One
team competed in the 1997 Formula One season
. It was initially driven by Johnny Herbert
, who was in his second season with the team, and Nicola Larini
. Larini's place in the team was secured via an arrangement that gave the team the previous year's Ferrari
engines that were used in the F310
that scored three wins in 1996, badged as Petronas
in deference to the team's major Malaysian
sponsor. This agreement to use Ferrari engines lasted until the team's purchase by BMW
However, Larini, Ferrari's test driver, was unhappy with the team's ambience and quit after five Grands Prix. Gianni Morbidelli
was brought in as a replacement, but he broke his arm on two separate occasions during the year and had to be replaced by rookie Norberto Fontana
whilst he recovered. All three drivers were comprehensively out-performed by Herbert.
Against some expectations, the car was competitive at the beginning of the season, but fell away slightly as the season progressed due to lack of development compared with better-funded rivals. Herbert's impressive season culminated in the team's third-ever podium finish at the 1997 Hungarian Grand Prix
(where he also beat both works Ferraris). He scored all but one of the team's tally of points.
The team eventually finished seventh in the Constructors' Championship, with 16 points.
Complete Formula One results
) (results in bold
indicate pole position)