Sauber unveils C31 in Jerez
6 February 2012 – Sauber has become the first of three Formula 1 teams to launch its 2012 car in Jerez on Monday, a day before pre-season testing begins at the Spanish circuit. The Swiss team’s uncovering of the C31 comes just three days after Technical Director James Key announced that he was to leave the company with immediate effect.
The launch came at a bright but somewhat cold Jerez on Monday morning, where ambient temperatures reached 8°C. The launch will be followed by World Champions Red Bull Racing and its sister team Toro Rosso, whose respective presentations come in the afternoon.
For Sauber, Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez revealed the Ferrari-powered C31, which like all new cars so far features a descent towards its nose section. The car is different colour-wise too, with the front end now graphite grey as opposed to the white of recent seasons.
“We’re aiming to start the new season as strongly as we did in 2011, but then also to maintain this level of performance throughout the year,” said Team Principal Peter Sauber. “Our goal is to finish regularly in the points so as to put ourselves in a significantly better position in the World Championship. The Sauber C31-Ferrari boasts a large number of promising new developments, but in other areas it is a systematic further development of last year’s car.
“We are looking forward to another season working with our young and talented drivers. Kamui will be competing in his third full season in F1. Last year we asked him to take on leadership responsibilities within the team and he has grown into the role. With his rookie season behind him Sergio is now approaching his second season, which is often the most difficult in a driver’s Formula 1 career.
“Both drivers have huge potential and will work with the same race engineers as in 2011 to continue developing that promise. Esteban (Gutiérrez, reserve driver) will be competing full-time in GP2 in his second season in the category and has shown – most recently in the November test – that he could also step into the car for a Grand Prix, if required.”
Also from Monday's Sauber launch: