Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber C31, Jerez, 2012

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

2012 F1 carsPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ-KS19Vl1E

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y78MrmHY5dk

2012 F1 cars


Browse all 2012 F1 cars articles

Image ?? Sauber F1 Team

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

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 4
  1. I like the livery this year, a lot cleaner than last year.

  2. Does anyone else feel like they’re getting accustomed to the stepped noses already? :s

    1. nope, not even a little.

    2. I think I am, actually.

  3. Interesting wheel design.
    The rest is rather… Unsurprising. I wonder if they keep the exhaust like that, as it seems like they neither try to aim for the rear wing, nor the brake winglets.

  4. Tom (@tomforpresident)
    6th February 2012, 10:24

    livery aside, from the step nose back i think it looks like a neat little package, i like it, just not to look at.

  5. Would it be rude if I was sick all over myself?

    1. No. It would be rude if you were sick all over someone else though.

  6. Like or dislike aside, I think the car looks… slow. Something about that front angle, and the lines over/around the side-pods. Something’s just off about it.

  7. I assume the round ‘hoop’ on the sidepod (next to the barge boards) are designed to create a vortex next to the side pod. If this helps suck more air to the rear of the car to generate more downforce, expect other teams to copy it before the season start.

  8. i cant wait for testing to start, because we will finally stop talking about how the cars look. (i hope at least to some extent)

    its like discussing Footballer’s hairstyles before the season. i’m not really that interested.

    1. Good point

    2. I think Peter Sauber’s hairstyle is by far the most aerodynamic.

    3. Great point! As we should all know by now, most of the teams are either disguising or hiding all their secrets anyway.

  9. Im amazed how many people are colour blind saying there is too much “black” when quite clearly its a shade of dark metallic Grey.

    I like it, its clean and simple. Loving the engine cover, and that front wing looks interesting (if not new I had not spotted it before) it has 2 sections towards the outer edges which curve upwards and inwards towards the rear of the wing directing air inboard of the front tyres.

    1. Tom (@tomforpresident)
      6th February 2012, 10:51

      @justingt5 i believe they like to call it ‘graphite’

  10. can’t make my mind up about this one. shame they got rid of those chunky wheel rims they used last year. they were cool.

  11. oh well…at least Ferrari aren’t going to have the fugliest car of the year after all

    this 1 really takes the biscuit!

  12. The more of these stepped noses I see coming out from under the veils, the more I wonder if McLaren’s choice to be different is simply due to a desire to have a pretty car rather than for performance reasons

    1. Argh, i wish people would stop this nonsense.

      Mclaren have ran a lower bulkhead/nose than anyone for the past couple of seasons. Everyone who is going with this stepped nose now, are the ones who ran higher bulkheads/noses in previous seasons. Its just a design philosophy, neither is going to be a game changer. Mclaren are just doing what they know works with their car already.

      1. ….and they have have the best front end grip.
        Unfortunately not at the rear which the front heavily effects, you are correct its what they understand. Time will tell if they should have changed their philosophy, but it has work to a degree in recent sessions.

  13. Strangely enough, I really like this car. I was a little apprehensive when I first saw the step in the nose of the Sauber, but after properly looking at it, I think it’s fantastic.

    The livery looks much better than in previous years, in my opinion, and the car looks very aggressive. I honestly think that Sauber and Force India could do very well this year (if they’re not plagued by reliability issues).

  14. The image quality on some of the studio shots wasn’t great so I’ve had a fiddle in Photoshop and uploading some better-looking ones.

  15. broken nose aside, i love it! sweet livery, hopefully it’ll preform well.

  16. Am I the only one that loves the livery? Admittedly, the sponsors still look like they’re been fired out of a sticker-gun, but the black/grey is a stroke of genius.

    1. You’re not the only one! I like the livery much better this year!

  17. Oh dear, I thought late MJ who has worst nose job. But this….it’s unaccepted.

  18. Even with the questionable nose, I don’t particularly like this one. The livery makes it look like it’s being eaten by shadows, or like a badly attempted colour scheme on a Need for Speed game.

  19. I’m liking all the 2012 car now, used to them, the exception is the Ferrari which is horrible but maybe that is an expectation thing, you expect a Ferrari to look good.

    Is this the first car where the exhaust is not blowing anything, there doesn’t seem to even be an attempt as blowing the rear wing or duct winglets. In fact the exhaust is way, way forward.

  20. Of the six cars launched so far, only the Mclaren have conformed to the spirit of the low nose regulation.
    This also goes to show that rules and restrictions need to be well thought out, and regulations should not be rushed in to counteract design trends.
    If the nose regulation had been based on the centre line reference of the front wheel nut, give or take a few millimeters, there would have been little room for circumventing such a regulation.
    What we have now is a regulation to lower the nose of the cars yet some cars even have a higher nose than the previous year.

    1. only the Mclaren have conformed to the spirit of the low nose regulation.

      I think you’re on dodgy ground talking about the “spirit” of the regulations. The rules specify what height the nose has to be at different points. It does not say what shape the chassis must be between those points.

      The 2012 cars were widely expect to look like this, McLaren are the exception so far. That does not make their approach “right” and their rivals’ “wrong”, or vice-versa, just “different”.

      1. Well Keith.

        If I am correct, the concept behind the regulation for the front bulkhead, is to achieve a lower nose profile, for safety reasons. The FIA have stated the need to prevent cars from being launched upwards after a collision. It is a known fact, the tip of the nose is where the launch begins and not the bulkhead.

        Mclaren’s recent design philosophy some how coincides with the new regulations. So it isn’t out of the goodness of their hearts, or the willingness to act in good faith, they didn’t go for a higher nose profile. Had Mclaren run a higher nose last season, they’ve most likely have gone with the stepped nose this season.

        My take on the stepped nose, is that the FIA in trying to achieve something, inadvertently created the loop holes that created the stepped nose profile.
        Perhaps they had reasoned, that the teams will design the cars with the slope starting much earlier before the bulkhead, and resulting in a much reduced nose tip height.

        So it isn’t about who is right or wrong, but that the regulation doesn’t achieve what it created for in the first place.

      2. Well Keith.

        If I am correct, the concept behind the regulation for the front bulkhead, is to achieve a lower nose profile, for safety reasons. The FIA have stated the need to prevent cars from being launched upwards after a collision. It is a known fact, the tip of the nose is where the launch begins and not the bulkhead.

        Mclaren’s recent design philosophy some how coincides with the new regulations. So it isn’t out of the goodness of their hearts, or the willingness to act in good faith, they didn’t go for a higher nose profile. Had Mclaren run a higher nose last season, they’ve most likely have gone with the stepped nose this season.

        My take on the stepped nose, is that the FIA in trying to achieve something, inadvertently created the loop holes that created the stepped nose profile.
        Perhaps they had reasoned, that the teams will design the cars with the slope starting much earlier before the bulkhead, and resulting in a much reduced nose tip height.

        So it isn’t about who is right or wrong, but that the regulation doesn’t achieve what it was created for in the first place.

Jump to comment page: 1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.