Sauber revealed its 2013 Formula 1 contender, the C32, in an event at its Hinwil headquarters in Switzerland on Saturday morning.
The team enjoyed one of the most successful seasons in its history in 2012, as it claimed four podium finishes and finished sixth in the constructors’ championship.
Team boss Monisha Kaltenborn said that given last year’s results, Sauber wanted to build on the previous car’s strong points rather than starting afresh.
“I’m very excited, but also a little tense,” she said. “The aim is very clear and simple: we want to continue to improve ourselves.
“The Sauber C32 is based on its predecessor, which was a very competitive car.
“It had a lot of strengths and some weaknesses, and our engineers have worked to build on those strengths and eliminate the weaknesses.”
The car has an all-new, largely grey, livery and runs a smooth nose as well as notably small sidepods.
Sauber also has an all-new driver line-up for 2013, with ex-Force India man Nico Hulkenberg and promoted test driver Esteban Gutierrez replacing Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi.
By Phillip Horton on Friday, November 23, 2012
The Mexican will move up from GP2 to partner Nico Hulkenberg in an all new line up for the Swiss team.
“Esteban has already been part of the team for a long time and we have followed his career very closely,” said Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn. “In 2010 we signed him up as an affiliated driver, and in 2011 and 2012 he was our test and reserve driver. We mapped out his path to Formula One step by step. Esteban has great talent and now he’s ready to take the leap. We are in no doubt we have a strong driver pairing in place for the 2013 season with Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez.”
Esteban Gutiérrez commented: “After three years working with Sauber I feel very grateful for all the attention I have received from everyone in the team and for all their input, which has allowed me to develop into a Formula One driver in a very progressive way”.
“Now, after experiencing other categories of racing as an introduction to Formula One, this is the start of the real challenge to succeed at the pinnacle of motor sport. The support from my family, as well as from my sponsors, has been a key factor in getting there and I am very grateful to everyone who has been involved in our project. It will be a great pleasure to be racing in the same team as an experienced driver like Nico Hülkenberg. He will be a good reference point for me and will push me to adapt quickly to F1 competition so we can develop the car together with the team in the best way.”
Reigning FR3.5 champion Robin Frijns joins the team as a reserve driver.
“Monitoring Robin’s racing career“, said Kaltenborn, “makes it easy to spot his potential. This was the reason we gave him the chance to drive the Sauber C31-Ferrari at the Young Driver Days in Abu Dhabi. He managed this very well. We will now carefully guide him to Formula One. This is a long way, but Robin has got the skills to do that successfully.”
Robin Frijns said: “I’m very happy the Sauber F1 Team has given me this opportunity. I would like to thank Monisha Kaltenborn and Peter Sauber for their belief and trust in me by signing me to join their team as a test and reserve driver. With this opportunity I will try to help the team as much as possible and get the chance to learn how Formula 1 works in an extremely professional environment. I am already very much looking forward to getting the 2013 season started and working together with the team.”
Kaltenborn also paid tribute to Sauber’s current racers.
Nico Hülkenberg will drive for Sauber in 2013. But Sauber didin’t tell who he’s teammate will be, will it be Kamikaze (Kobayashi) or another Mexican like Esteban Gutierrez. Drivers like Alguersuari, Kovalainen, or Sutil still have chances to be the Number 2 in the team.
Hülkenberg’s joining to Sauber was absolutley right. He had to make a step forward in his career and we don’t know if the Sahara Force India team is financially alright. So Hülkenberg could stay for Sauber many years, if Telmex stays as sponsor.
Hülkenberg was from 2008-2009 testdriver by Williams, in 2009 he was GP2 champion. Hülkenberg was driving for Williams in 2010, he’s highlight in that year was he’s pole in Sao Paulo under rainy conditions. The Netherlands Robert Frijns has good chances to be testdriver by Sauber for the next season. He won three championships in three years (!), Formula BMW Eurocup 2010, Formula Renault 2.0 and the Formula Renault 3.5 Series this year.