In 2012, Sauber had a rather low-key car launch right on the Jerez circuit the day before testing.
If memory serves me correctly, Sauber had a pretty decent 2012. Four podiums and a couple near wins gave the Swiss team a solid 6th in the Constructors’ Championship.
This year, Sauber kicked it up a gear and had a big online reveal of their C32. This type of spectacle is a bit of a new venture for a small team like Sauber. Small launches from the pit lanes of the testing venue are usually the norm for small midfield teams. If the big reveal today was any symbol of Sauber’s intentions in 2013, the big boys should watch out for themselves come Australia.
The new car, once again powered by Ferrari engines, has taken on a brand new livery, abandoning the bland black and white scheme for one dominated by a cool, slick graphite hue. The car has taken some criticism for looking similar to the 2010 HRT, but we’ll all forget about it once testing begins, truthfully.
One distinct feature of the new Sauber C32 is its new smooth nose. Well, not entirely smooth. From the side, it looks as if Sauber have gone down the vanity panel path. With some undisturbed lines, the Sauber is definitely a looker. Looking dead at the front, however, the story changes. You can see where the step would be right in the middle of the nose. One can only imagine the reason Sauber have done this is because downforce is created this way.
An all new lineup for 2013 makes the season all the more important. Sauber need to have drivers they can rely on to develop the car and drive it quickly. Hulkenberg is clearly a fantastic and reliable driver, as the second half of 2012 showed. Gutierrez is a bit of an unknown. He performed well in the young driver test, but didn’t really impress when he stepped in for Perez for FP1 in India.
Monisha Kaltenborn wants Sauber to “continue on our upward curve” in 2013. With the C32, I think that is very possible.