Swiss launch for new-look Sauber C32 02 Feb 2013
Sauber unveiled their 2013 car at their Swiss base in Hinwil in Saturday. The Ferrari-powered C32, to be raced by the teams all-new driver line-up of Nico Hulkenberg and Mexican rookie Esteban Gutierrez, is quite distinct from its predecessor, both in design and livery.
With it the team aim to build on their impressive 2012 season, which saw them claim four podium finishes en route to sixth in the constructors championship.
The C31 was an extremely competitive car with many strengths, explained Matt Morris, Saubers chief designer. Our aim was to further improve these strengths and eliminate its few weaknesses.
Over the course of last season we invested a lot of time and energy in developing a better understanding of our car. To this end, we focused primarily on the aerodynamic effects around the rear of the car. Our aero experts have done some great work in this respect, the basis of which has been used to develop the C32.
Utilising the cosmetic fairing, or vanity panel, allowed in the 2013 regulations to partially mask its step, the edges of the nose of the C32 now sweep smoothly downwards, enhancing the cars front-end aerodynamics, while its sidepods are notably slimmer than the Formula One norm.
Its rear end is extremely slim, with new radiator positioning, and Saubers aerodynamicists have invested a lot of time developing the details around the exhaust exits - an area which has a major impact on performance and in which team were among the leading exponents last season.
As in 2012, the cars KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), engine and gearbox are supplied by Ferrari. The KERS is based on last years version, but its weight and packaging volume have been optimised.
The rear axle is a totally new development, designed to better interact with the airflow around the rear of the car while further improving tyre management, and there is also potential for improvement in how the tyres are used in qualifying.
Our car looked after its tyres very well during races last year, said Morris. However, we had problems now and again when it came to getting the maximum out of them in qualifying. Weve looked at this phenomenon closely and made the required adjustments.
The C32 will make its track debut at Jerez in Spain next Tuesday, when the first of three pre-season tests gets underway ahead of the opening Grand Prix of 2013 in Australia next month. By then Sauber plan to have introduced a major update to the car.
We have set ourselves lofty goals with the Sauber C32-Ferrari, and Im confident that well be able to meet them, summed up Morris. The C31 gave us a very good basis, to which weve made further improvements. Our aim is to line up for 2013 with a car that is competitive from the first race, but which also offers extensive potential for further development.
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