The Sauber C32 Ferrari was launched today at their home base located in Hinwil, Switzerland under the direction of the first–ever female boss of a Formula One team. Monisha Kaltenborn along with the two drivers for the team uncovered the new 2013 challenger.
Like many Formula One teams this year, most of the changes are beneath the surface with minor facial changes. The touch of red with white flashes on the silvery-gray C32 adds to the overview of the car to where one can easily say “cool” as it does offer a futuristic appearance, especially from the front.
A confident frame of mind.
Sauber team chief designer Matt Morris commented on the C32 being “visually very different”! He also mentioned the “step” nose which was a hot topic in 2012 due to its “ugly” look. Sauber apparently did their homework as Morris and his technical team was able to “hide” it in what they termed a “complex aerodynamic solution” with a downward slope of the “step” housed in the nose cone, and it worked!
The slimmer side pods added to the dramatic look as Morris said, “The airflow in this area has a major influence over everything that happens at the rear of the car.” He added. “The C31 was an extremely competitive car with many strengths. Our aim was to further improve these strengths and eliminate its few weaknesses.”
How it will look and behave will be seen at the first preseason test in Jerez, Spain. “We’re well prepared, that we’ve got the new car finished in good time and that we’ve met the performance targets we set ourselves internally,” said Team Principal Kaltenborn.
Last year, the Sauber team landed on the podium four times, and they have high hopes for this season with experienced driver Nico Hülkenberg and rookie Esteban Gutiérrez. Kaltenborn said, "The C32 is based on its predecessor, which was a very competitive car."
Hülkenberg left the Force India team, and has no regrets. The 2009 GP2 champion stated: “The “Our target is to perform well on a constant basis.” The German racer added, “We need to build on the solid basis of last year and reach some good results. But it is a whole new season: New game, new luck! We really have to wait and see what happens when we hit the track for the first time. And then we’ll take it from there.”
Sauber’s rookie driver was the 2010 GP3 champion prior to his chase for the GP2 crown. Last year, the Mexican was a test driver in Formula One, and now he will contest the premier single-seater series. Gutiérrez commented: “We will all have adrenaline pumping to the maximum.”
Asked about his expectations of his first race in March, Gutiérrez said, “In the beginning the most important task is to solve all the car’s reliability issues so we can put in a lot of laps in the tests. Then, of course, another important factor is to get to know the car in race and qualifying conditions, which mainly comes with experience during the first races.”
He is well aware of his rookie status and his learning curve as he stated his goal: “To be consistent at a good competitive level.”