Sauber Launch C31 In Spain

JEREZ, Spain- After team Red Bull launched their challenger early in the morning, the Sauber F1 team took their turn later in the morning of the 6 th of February to display their new car, the C31, in front of the world’s media.

The car’s first initial, names after team manager Peter Sauber’s wife, Christiane, features a different rear end, as well as another stepped nose. The C31 also involves more tightly packaged bodywork, a redesigned gearbox, and a reconfigured floor.

Sauber himself believes that the team can keep the car competitive throughout the season and improve on last year’s seventh place finish in the constructor’s championship.

“We are aiming to start the new season as strongly as we did in 2011, but then to maintain this level of performance throughout the year.” Sauber commented. “Our goal is to finish regularly in the points so as to put ourselves in a significantly better position in the world championship.”

Kamui Kobyaschi and Sergio Perez will return for another year, with Esteban Gutierrez back in as the team’s test and reserve driver.

But Kobyaschi is keeping an open mind and does not want to predict too soon about the outcome of the season.

I obviously can’t make serious judgments on the car because we had a promotional day and were running only demo tires,” the Japanese recalled after taking the car out for a spin. “But it still is always a good start to the season when everything goes smoothly and according to plan. Being that perfectly on time is very Japanese and Swiss as well. All systems work fine. It is a very nice feeling to be back in the car and with the team and I am very much looking forward to proper testing now.”

Chief designer Matt Morris though revealed that the car, even after all the early season testing, will undergo a major upgrade before the opening race of the season.

“The current plan is to launch a fairly basic roll out version of the car, which was defined quite some time ago.” He said. “We will then be testing development parts during the upcoming weeks with a late upgrade for the first race on March 18 th in Australia. Therefore the car will look quite different in Melbourne compared to the roll out car.”

Kobyaschi will begin the test on the 7 th of February before he hands it to Perez for two days. Then the Mexican will hand it back to the Japanese for the final day of testing.

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