Sauber sets earliest 2017 launch date so far

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Sauber has beaten their rivals by announcing the earliest 2017 car launch date that has so far been officially scheduled.

The team announced on Twitter that the unveiling of this year's chassis, the C36, will take place on February 20, putting them ahead of the likes of Renault, Mercedes and Ferrari.

The announcement was accompanied by a stylised overhead image of the car, the first to be produced by the team since it was taken over by Longbow Finance.

The car will utilise a year-old Ferrari power unit this year, ahead of an expected switch of engine supplier in 2018.

Sauber will take part in a filming day two days later at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, which will be the venue for the first pre-season test of the year the following week starting on February 27.

This year's Sauber driver line-up will consist of Marcus Ericsson, who will be joined by new-signing Pascal Wehrlein, who has moved to the team after half a season at Manor to take the race seat formerly occupied by Felipe Nasr.

The Renault Sports F1 team is currently scheduled to be the second team to unveil its 2017 car the following day on February 21, with Force India rolling out their new contender at Silverstone on February 22.

Mercedes will roll out their new chassis on February 23, followed by a busy day on the 24th with both Ferrari and McLaren showing off their new models for 2017 which features major changes to tyre and downforce regulations.

Toro Rosso will reveal their new car in Barcelona on February 26, with Red Bull, Williams and Haas still to formally announce when they will unveil their designs to the world.

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