Sauber C32 technical details: Making a good thing even better

Sauber F1 Team's chief designer Matt Morris comments on the technical details and changes in the 2013 C32 challenger.

The F1 technical regulations have barely changed going into the 2013 season and yet the new Sauber C32-Ferrari is a very different proposition visually from its predecessor – thanks to a smooth, slightly downward-sloping nose section and, principally, much slimmer sidepods.

“The C31 was an extremely competitive car with many strengths,” explained Matt Morris, the Sauber F1 Team’s Chief Designer. Our aim was to further improve these strengths and eliminate its few weaknesses.

Sauber C32 sidepod detail
Sauber C32 sidepod detail

Photo by: XPB Images

“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.”

The sidepods of the C32 are notably slimmer than the Formula One norm up to now and are responsible for giving the new car a very distinctive look. “The airflow in this area has a major influence over everything that happens at the rear of the car,” said Morris, offering a glimpse into the team’s thinking.

An extremely slim rear end was high up the engineers’ list of priorities. One of the key aspects here is the arrangement of the radiators, which is very different from that in the C31. A look at the rear end of the new car reveals the engineers’ rigorous approach to this area.

As before, the car’s KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), engine and gearbox are supplied by Ferrari. The KERS is based on last year’s version, but its weight and packaging volume have been optimised.

Sauber C32 rear suspension detail
Sauber C32 rear suspension detail

Photo by: XPB Images

The rear axle is a totally new development. Although it still works according to the pullrod principle, its layout has been designed to better interact with the airflow around the rear of the car, while further improving the tyre management.

Radical changes have also been conspicuous by their absence when it comes to tyres. “We had the opportunity to test with the new generation of tyres at the last race of the 2012 season at Interlagos,” said Morris. “Although there are some differences in the construction of the tyres, as a whole the changes are minimal, which means there was no need for a fundamental redevelopment in this area.”

There was also potential for improvement in how the tyres are used in qualifying, as Morris explained: “Our car looked after its tyres very well during races last year. However, we had problems now and again when it came to getting the maximum out of them in qualifying. We’ve looked at this phenomenon closely and made the required adjustments.”

Another high priority was reducing the car’s overall weight, to allow a better distribution of the ballast, while retaining its structural requirements and mechanical setup flexibility. “My colleagues have done an excellent job here, and we have even exceeded our original targets”, praised Morris.

Sauber C32 front suspension detail
Sauber C32 front suspension detail

Photo by: XPB Images

Like last year, the Sauber F1 Team will use a basic version of the car for its rollout event and introduce a major update before the first race of the season.

“We have set ourselves lofty goals with the Sauber C32-Ferrari, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to meet them. The C31 gave us a very good basis, to which we’ve 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,” summed up Morris.

Sauber C32-Ferrari Technical details

Chassis: carbon-fibre monocoque
Front suspension: upper and lower wishbones, inboard springs and dampers activated by pushrods (Sachs Race Engineering and Penske)

Rear suspension: upper and lower wishbones, inboard springs and dampers actuated by pullrods (Sachs Race Engineering and Penske)

Brakes: six-piston brake callipers (Brembo), carbon-fibre pads and discs (Brembo)

Transmission: Ferrari 7-speed quick-shift carbon gearbox, longitudinally mounted, carbon-fibre clutch

Chassis electronics: MES
KERS: Ferrari
Steering wheel: Sauber F1 Team
Tyres: Pirelli
Wheels: OZ

length: 5.240 mm
width: 1.800 mm
height: 1.000 mm
track width, front: 1.495 mm
track width, rear: 1.410 mm
Weight: 642 kg (incl. driver, tank empty)

Ferrari 056 engine
Type: naturally aspirated 8-cylinder, 90° cylinder angleel 90 Grad
Engine block: sand-cast aluminium
Valves / valve train: 32 / pneumatic
Displacement: 2.398 ccm
Bore: 98 mm
Weight: > 95 kg

Sauber F1 Team

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari , Sauber
Article type Analysis
Tags c32, ferrari, hinwil, kaltenborn, morris, sauber, switzerland