Sauber C31 launch – first pictures and video of Sauber’s 2012 F1 car

2012 F1 cars

Sauber have unveiled their contender for the 2012 F1 championship.

The C31 was revealed today in Jerez and will be driven by Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez this season.

Sauber finished seventh in the championship last year. However just days before the launch of their new car the team announce technical director James Key, who had been with them since 2010, was leaving the squad.

Sauber C31, 2012

Sauber C31, 2012

Chief designer Matt Morris says the team’s 2012 F1 car is a combination of new ideas and concepts developed from its predecessor.

Following the launch of the Sauber C31 in Jerez, Morris said: “The C31 is revolutionary where we had fresh ideas, particularly at the rear of the car, and it is an evolution where we knew we could carry over certain approaches. We had to improve on the weaknesses we identified on the C30, but at the same time we wanted to maintain its strengths.

“We had established some good directions to go in towards the end of last year with the C30 which we wanted to continue with, particularly some of our DRS developments, and some of the ways we were opting for with the car?s set up in order to improve our qualifying performance without compromising our race pace.”

Morris added he expects the ban on exhaust-blown diffusers to help the team: “Because of the new definition in the rules we know that the disadvantages we had last year with a lack of the strong exhaust effect will be less of an issue for us now. As a result we evolved further our directions from C30 regarding the overall aero development of the car.”

He added the car “will look quite different in Melbourne” once further upgrades are added to it.

Sauber C31 pictures

Kamui Kobayashi driving the Sauber C31

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132 comments on Sauber C31 launch – first pictures and video of Sauber’s 2012 F1 car

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  1. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 6th February 2012, 10:04

    No Sauber! :( I’m gutted to see they’ve changed their livery. My opinion isn’t too popular on this, but last year’s Sauber was one of the best looking cars I’ve ever seen for both shape and livery. I don’t know what it was about it, but I just loved the look of it. It looked like a missile or something. This isn’t exactly ugly, but it’s no-where near as good as the car they had last year. I’m disappointed. If they absolutely had to change the livery, I think they should have gone with something a bit more fun. All they’ve done is ruin it. :(

    At least the shape isn’t too bad. Very interesting engine cover!

    • Jarred Walmsley (@jarred-walmsley) said on 6th February 2012, 10:14

      I agree, I liked last years Sauber, this just looks plain and boring, no front on shots so I can’t really comment on the nose, but they obviously have the step, I just hope its worked into both the body and the livery nicely. And they really need a main sponser to fill the side pod.

    • The cover seems interesting… but those side pods are pratically non-existant. They are tiny! Does the Ferrari lump at the back need any air at all?

    • ivz (@ivz) said on 6th February 2012, 10:19

      I think the extra black makes it a bit more tough looking…….or maybe that’s the wheels.
      Also, is that the white (medium) tyres they have on? They decided to match the colours lol.

    • TommyB (@tommyb89) said on 6th February 2012, 10:41

      Urgh they’ve made the livery worse! It’s like they decided to paint the whole thing black but gave up when they got to the middle.

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 6th February 2012, 10:55

        I’ve softened to it already. I think it was the initial shock and disappointment of seeing they’d changed the livery that made me type such a negative comment, but I actually… kind of like it now!

        The nose isn’t actually that bad (although I’m inclined to say anything looks good when it doesn’t have a nose as hideous as Ferrari’s) and the step doesn’t seem to be as noticeable as it is on other cars. Overall, I think this is the best shape we’ve seen so far, and the livery is growing on me. If there was a smoother transition between the grey and the white, it would probably go a long way towards making it look better. The sidepods also need a bit more colour. If the grey from the back end of the engine cover curved around to the sidepods, it might improve its overall appearance. Otherwise, I think a simple sponsor logo would enhance the plain sides of the car.

        I’d quite like to see the Sauber completely grey, however. The wind tunnel model of the C30 looked very smart in grey, actually. I still think I preferred their livery last year.

        • wificats (@wificats) said on 6th February 2012, 11:32

          Grey would be awesome, a bit like the classic black and white Sauber livery in 1993/4 when they first entered the sport.

        • Looks more like black to me…

          The livery reminds me of a cow, that was my first impression. The NEC and Claro logo might not work well with a full black car. Although it would have been better to go full black, but Peter Sauber stated he likes white. So I don’t know why the car is now only 1/3 white. Although he mentioned the cars would be hard to tell apart with white. So they kind of made a compromise.

          Would be interesting to see in full black…

    • Solo (@solo) said on 6th February 2012, 10:46

      Dude you don’t get it. Making the nose black was a stroke of genius. It really lessens the ugliness of the nose and making you focus your eyes in the brighter areas away from it.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 6th February 2012, 11:07

      agree… what a lame paint job. It’s just a mess of stickers and two bits of grey…

      And the car itself doesn’t look particularly pretty either…

    • Lachie (@lachie) said on 6th February 2012, 11:37

      I’ll be completely honest, I couldn’t tell the difference in the livery until I went to Google to check. I see the difference now but be it 2011 or 2012 the livery looks boring as hell. Half black, half white just the line is in a different spot.

    • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 6th February 2012, 11:56

      Actually I like the new livery more. I’m also warming up to the ugly stepped noses. I think these two things combined make the car look very aggressive.

    • Bleeps_and_Tweaks (@bleeps_and_tweaks) said on 6th February 2012, 15:01

      I was literally about to write exactly the same post @damonsmedley I distinctly remember someone senior at Sauber saying that the livery was going to be ‘something special’ in 2012…looks like they forgot.

      I was hoping for the old blue/yellow design.

    • Estesark (@estesark) said on 6th February 2012, 16:46

      I think this is the ugliest car to be revealed so far.

    • Well, I think last year’s Sauber was one of the worst looking if not the worst. The new paint job looks much more agressive. I really love the black rims.

  2. whoa, it’s totally black! and white! looks kinda empty in the middle though.. they need a primary sponsor

  3. ivz (@ivz) said on 6th February 2012, 10:05

    Aggressive nose like the Ferrari. The black hides it a bit though.

    • Solo (@solo) said on 6th February 2012, 11:05

      Very clever that black. The man who thought it should get a bonus.

      • UKFan (@) said on 6th February 2012, 18:30

        I agree it takes away the attention from the nose if it were white it would shine like owen wilsons nose.

    • Without the paint scheme, I think Ferrari actually had a better-looking nose, as far as these platypus monstrosities go. And Force India’s look a bit better still.

      Let’s see what RBR rolls out in 1.5 hours — hopefully something different. So far we have a conservative-looking nose (McLaren) and … the platypuses. Looking forward to something genuinely innovative.

      • MW (@) said on 6th February 2012, 12:04

        My bet is the RBR “nose solution” will have something along the lines of the Lotus and of course Toro rosso will follow suit..
        It would be great if they came up with something completely different though.. Like a corkscrew nose (patent pending !)

  4. TheJudge (@thejudge) said on 6th February 2012, 10:06

    The livery looks a bit like the first HRT. But the design of the car looks much more agressive and different to what we saw on the C30. I’m not talking about the nose,but the rear end engine cover and the wing itself

    • Solo (@solo) said on 6th February 2012, 11:10

      I agree it looks like they really improved it in all aspects. It looks like it will be a good improvement aerodynamically from last year.
      The problem is how are they going to proceed now that Key left them. Is it going to affect the during the year?

  5. As much as I love Sauber, sorry but that is plain HIDEOUS!!!

  6. McGregski (@mcgregski) said on 6th February 2012, 10:07

    Sauber’s always look unfinished at their launches… you could confuse this for an HRT with the lack of sponsorship or imagination

    Hopefully it will be a bit more ‘sponsored’ by the time we get to AUS

    • peru-kowalsky said on 6th February 2012, 12:52

      i don’t agree about hrt. The livery last year was good, lack of sponsors aside, with the checkered flag, and colors.

  7. TheNikii (@thenikii) said on 6th February 2012, 10:08

    Another broken nose. Is it McLaren or everybody else who got it wrong?

  8. stepped nose… more like ferrari type….

  9. Todfod (@todfod) said on 6th February 2012, 10:11

    Sauber and Ferrari are now tied for the ugliest nose of 2012.

    Sauber really looks like they cut some expenditures in the livery department.

  10. Slr (@slr) said on 6th February 2012, 10:11

    Well I hope it’s quick, though the livery I’m not sure about.

  11. Ryan Williams (@) said on 6th February 2012, 10:12

    Nose looks similar to that on the Caterham. Personally, I think it’s one of the prettiest cars so far, second to the Lotus. The livery is okay but Sauber could’ve gone for something more colourful, like what they ran in 2004/05

  12. Tom (@tomforpresident) said on 6th February 2012, 10:12

    things that make you go hmm?

  13. James said on 6th February 2012, 10:13

    I can’t believe how many of the cars have that ridiculous nose, I was hoping it’d just be Caterham making a huge mistake! … This livery is nice though, I like! :)

  14. Silverkeg (@silverkeg) said on 6th February 2012, 10:15

    That livery is simply awful. Very dissapointed.

    The car itself is interesting. The rear of the engine cover looks different, small sidepods.

    Not a fan of Sauber though, hopefully can’t match the Force India.

  15. Eggry (@eggry) said on 6th February 2012, 10:17

    I don’t care nose much since Ferrari, but the livery is horrible.

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