Sauber unveiled the C32 on Saturday at their base in Switzerland
Wraps come off "visually very different" car at team's base
By Mike Wise. Last Updated: February 5, 2013 9:09am
Sauber have become the fifth Formula 1 team to launch their 2013 car with the unveiling of the C32 at their base in Hinwil, Switzerland.
Drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez were on hand to pull the wraps off the Ferrari-powered car, which sports a graphite-coloured paint scheme.
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Regarding the step in the nose, the team appear to have chosen a halfway house solution - the step is still visible in the centre but optimised with high sides.
The C32 also features very narrow sidepods. Chief designer Matt Morris described it as a "visually very different car", even though the rules have largely remained static since last year.
Elsewhere, the car features a new rear axle to which, it is hoped, will better interact with the airflow at the rear of the car.
It is also hoped that the car's tyre management will improve. Recent Saubers have tended to look after their tyres well in races but have sometimes struggled to maximise performance during qualifying.
The car's predecessor gained plenty of admiring glances last season and with imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, features of the C31 - its exhaust design mainly - soon influenced rivals.
Sauber enjoyed a very strong 2012, earning four podium finishes in all and challenging Mercedes for fifth place in the Constructors' Championship. Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said she wanted that progress to continue.
"I'm very excited, but also a little tense, because a launch like this is a very exciting moment," she said ahead of an unveiling streamed on the team's official website. "We're just days away from the car we have developed over the winter months will be hitting the track.
"The aim is very clear and quite simple: we want to continue to improve ourselves and the key factor for this is the car. The C32 is based on its predecessor, which was a very competitive car.
"It had a lot of strengths, a few weaknesses, and the engineers focused further on building these strengths and eliminating the weaknesses. I'm confident the entire team has done a very good job."
Sauber have an all-new driver line-up this coming season, with Nico Hulkenberg arriving from Force India and GP2 racer Esteban Gutierrez having been promoted from his role as reserve.
"It looks good to me - absolutely perfect," Hulkenberg said. "You see the colour scheme has changed a bit, more grey, a bit darker. But it looks good and now I'm curious to take it out and see how fast it is."
Gutierrez added: "It's very exciting to see the car in real life. It's very innovative and I'm really looking forward to test it on track and then to race it."
The 2013 car launches
Lotus - January 28th, Enstone.
McLaren - January 31st, Woking.
Force India - February 1st, Silverstone.
Ferrari - February 1st, Maranello.
Sauber - February 2nd, Hinwil.
Red Bull - February 3rd, Milton Keynes.
Mercedes - February 4th, Jerez.
Toro Rosso - February 4th, Jerez.
Caterham - February 5th, Jerez.
Marussia - February 5th, Jerez.
Williams - February 19th, Barcelona.