Sauber C32 and C31 compared

2013 F1 season

Sauber C32 and C31

The Sauber C32 revealed today sports more than just an attractive new paint job.

Side-by-side with its predecessor in launch specification, there’s no mistaking the lengths Sauber have gone to reduce the dimensions of the rear of the car and packaging the sidepods as tightly as possible.

Sauber C32, 2013Designer Matt Morris said this approach had been inspired by Sergio Perez’s crash in 2011: “Checo had quite a bad accident at Monaco a couple of years ago.

“When we got that car back we saw the sidepod squashed in and thought ‘I wonder if we could actually do that for real’.”

“It’s obviously aero-driven,” he said, adding that ensuring the radiators and electronic contained within the sidepod function correctly was “a huge challenge for us, both structure-wise and packaging-wise. And also ensuring that we still pass all the mandatory FIA safety tests.”

Inevitably the team will only reveal so much at the car’s launch. As with their rivals, expect to see plenty of development on the car before the season begins.

The C32’s rear suspension has also been the focus of changes. “Although it still works according to the pull-rod principle, its layout has been designed to better interact with the airflow around the rear of the car, while further improving the tyre management,” said the team.

Sauber C31, 2012Tyre management was a key strength of the C31 but there was a down side to that which Morris says they have addressed: “Our car looked after its tyres very well during races last year.

“However, we had problems now and again when it came to getting the maximum out of them in qualifying. We?ve looked at this phenomenon closely and made the required adjustments.”

Morris is especially pleased with the work the team did reducing the weight of the car: “my colleagues have done an excellent job here, and we have even exceeded our original targets,” he said.

The team retain Ferrari engines and, like the factory team, will use a revised and lightened version on the Ferrari KERS. But ensuring the cooling requirements of both can be met with the smaller sidepods will surely be a focus of the team’s testing efforts starting next week.

The comparison images will not have been taken from the same angles and so some differences between the cars will appear distorted.

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41 comments on Sauber C32 and C31 compared

  1. craig-o (@craig-o) said on 2nd February 2013, 14:08

    Comparison: one is more ‘graphite’ than the other. ;)

  2. ivz (@ivz) said on 2nd February 2013, 14:12

    C32 looks like it will have a lot lower centre of gravity? Could this then play off against the advantage of more aero? But I guess this will really get them ready for 2014….

  3. CarsVsChildren (@carsvschildren) said on 2nd February 2013, 14:14

    Now if only Kamui was driving it….

    • @carsvschildren – I have never really undertood all the hype that surrounds Kobayashi. Technically, Nico Hulkenberg was the replacement for him (Gutierrez was given a seat to retain the Mexican money from Telemex which may otherwise have left with Perez). If we look at it that way I entirely understand Saubers decision: I hold Hulkenberg in much higher regard than Kobayashi.

      I could entirely understand if Kobayashi was ditched for Guitierrez as he looks to me as a no-hope for ever being a great driver but if you look at it from the flipside then I think many would agree that Hulkenberg is a better driver than Kobayashi.

      • I never understand Kobayashi detractors, that are blind to his ability’s in sub-par machinery. Some of the things he did in his 3 years, very few drivers would even consider.

        The only thing I agree with is that Guiterrez is nowhere near Kobayashi’s level, and I don’t see him getting their. It should have been Koba and Hulk if they wanted the best drivers, but we know the reason why they chose Guiterrez. $$$$ and nothing more.

        • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 2nd February 2013, 15:30

          +145 million (yen) to you LJ.

        • William Brierty said on 2nd February 2013, 15:48

          I’ve never understood KK fans. This idea that KK can get more out of a car than most drivers is utterly fanciful and just plain wrong. He’s a good qualifier…sometimes, and that’s it. But he often spoils things with a poor start/contact. KK’s flashes of quality have been too few and far between, and therefore has rightfully been thrown into the same bin as Petrov, Nakijima, Glock, Sato, Trulli, Fisichella and Heidfeld. However I am by no means saying that hiring Gutierrez was a good decision, the very opposite in fact, and I think he will be shoved out of the same door as Kobayashi at the first possible opportunity, to be replaced by some proper talent in the shape of reserve driver Robin Frijns. Mark my words, Sauber will save Gutierrez the cost of a plane ticket to Singapore.

          • Nickpkr21 said on 2nd February 2013, 16:15

            Hold on Gtz is quite fast and I expect him to qualify really good and Hulkenberg will be a good parameter, racing he has done some in GP3 1st and GP2 3rd, saubers test driver for 3 yrs and have financial backing, that how you get a f1 seat. To say he will not handle it is naive at most. Actually I think the pressure is on Hulk with all the third year guys, like di Resta, Grojean, maldonado specially cause aiming for either a ferrari o redbull seat in 2014 will be only chance, unless Mclaren or mercedes free a seat which doubt.

          • Slr (@slr) said on 2nd February 2013, 16:31

            KK’s flashes of quality have been too few and far between

            I disagree, Kobayashi had many great races last year. As many have said since Sauber dropped Kobayashi, the gap between Kobayashi and Perez did not merit the latter going to McLaren whilst the former drops out of the sport.

            Petrov, Nakijima, Glock, Sato, Trulli, Fisichella and Heidfeld

            Apart from Petrov and Nakajima, that isn’t a bad “bin” of drivers to be part of. Many could only dream of having careers like they did.

          • Häkkimi (@feynman) said on 2nd February 2013, 16:43

            +1 to Slr’s comment

          • William Brierty said on 2nd February 2013, 17:11

            Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think KK should have been fired, but I also don’t think Perez should’ve gone to McLaren. I’m not casting judgement over Sauber’s decision, just explaining that KK lost his seat for the same reasons as the aforementioned drivers; inconsistant pace/the promise of a “pay driver”. I just don’t understand KK fans though, he really is not that special.

          • I’m with William on this one: he’s put in the odd great performance (Suzuka ’12 springs to mind) but I wouldn’t rate him as highly as Hulkenberg, which is really what I was actually saying with my comment (not that Kobayashi is a bad driver – he isn’t, just he’s not great and I think fairly easily replaced).

        • Paul (@paulmaster) said on 3rd February 2013, 4:35

          If Kobayashi were as good as supporters say, probably he would have got a seat in other team, don´t you think?. And I’m not saying he is a bad driver but i think he is just above the average. Now talking about Esteban, yeah he might be where he is cause of the sponsorship but I don’t think Carlos Slim became the Richest man in the world by making wrong decisions. Of course he got a lot to prove, but let’s wait and judge by results.

        • N7 (@m77) said on 3rd February 2013, 11:18

          The only thing I agree with is that Guiterrez is nowhere near Kobayashi’s level

          How can people make this conclusion?! Let’s compare their GP2 stats, the only championship they both competed a couple of seasons in: Kobayashi’s best GP2 championship position was 16th (0 wins in total), Gutierrez’ was 3rd (4 wins in total).

          Sure, I can understand people saying that doesn’t mean too much, but can’t at all understand where the ‘Kobayashi > Gutierrez’ comments come from.

      • JB (@) said on 2nd February 2013, 15:36


        I have never really undertood all the hype that surrounds Kobayashi.

        Here you go Max! I hope this´ll help you understand all the hype about Kobayashi. In a nutshell, he´s very ballsy although he might be very hit-or-miss sometimes, but it´s all about the moves. Sure his results were not that big but at least he was a fighter and he definitely was very exciting to watch!

        0:54 is VERY late breaking(very ballsy), 1:00-1:20 from the minute to until 1:17 is the reason why I rate Button so poorly! It really is a dang shame we lost Kobayashi. He will be missed!!

        • @catracho504 – Sure he’s had some good overtakes in his time but nonetheless I stand my ground in saying there was nothing outwardly special about him; I think his popularity is more so due to those few good overtakes than anything else.

          Absolutely Kobayashi wasn’t so bad relative to Perez that it justifies the former being without a seat and the latter driving for McLaren but I don’t think Kobayashi was ever going to be good enough for a McLaren drive, unlike say Hulknberg (which takes us back to my initial comment).

  4. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 2nd February 2013, 14:16

    I can definitely see a Red Bull-style ‘slot’ appearing in the Sauber’s step once testing begins, and I’ll maintain that this could be the surprise of the season. I definitely would not be surprised if it out-performs Mercedes, and maybe even gets on terms with Lotus.

  5. andae23 (@andae23) said on 2nd February 2013, 14:17

    “Checo had quite a bad accident at Monaco a couple of years ago. When we got that car back we saw the sidepod squashed in and thought ‘I wonder if we could actually do that for real’.”

    In a time where every little detail of the car is heavily overdesigned and most of the cars that will appear in Melbourne are nearing the end of a long iteration process, this is such a funny and nostalgic story! Out-of-the-box thinking is one of those things that will never fade, it seems.

  6. Marciare_o_Marcire (@marciare-o-marcire) said on 2nd February 2013, 15:12

    I anticipate massive cooling problems and numerous engine and/or KERS failures with those tiny little sidepods.

    • JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III said on 2nd February 2013, 15:41

      To be honest even tho keith added the disclaimer that the pictures are not like for like it looks as though the air intakes in the sidepods and under the roll bar are larger. The body work surrounding them looks to be thinner to maximise the space available. I think they’ve done their homework well.

    • Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 2nd February 2013, 15:54

      It just looks like they’ve turned the radiators at an angle and changed the shape of the sidepod entrances accordingly. The visual effect is to give the impression that everything has been pushed in and shunted upwards. They’ll probably be fine.

  7. Nick.UK (@) said on 2nd February 2013, 15:26

    All the cars this year so far, look like they have very small/narrow centre bodies and side pods.

  8. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 2nd February 2013, 15:35

    looks like Sauber have taken a step forward while Force India havent really improved much.

  9. Jorge Lardone (@jorgelardone) said on 2nd February 2013, 15:40

    Beautiful car.

  10. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 2nd February 2013, 15:44

    According to rules there must be a drop in height above the suspension rods. I dont see that here. There are two beams at the edge of the nose

  11. Nickpkr21 said on 2nd February 2013, 15:52

    Seems also cockpit tops are lower or something, if using the tires as references most new cars have lower cokpits and noses

  12. Fixy (@fixy) said on 2nd February 2013, 16:31

    The airbox and sidepods certainly look better, as does the nose with the vanity panel. The sidepods llok strange so small!

  13. Javier (@f1karting) said on 2nd February 2013, 18:19

    I think that under estimating Gutierrez is poor judgement. Just like Checo, he has gone through a well thought career path and he is not here just for the wallet. Telmex not only is providing funds as advertising. They have been working with youngsters even from 10 years old. My own son just turned 15 and will take place in a f2 kart serial in Mexico. This kids will have training, psychologists, nutriologists and so on. The first place will be sponsored the next year into the dodge barber serial in the US. So make no mistake, there is a lot of homework done to get this guys ready. Ricardo and Pedro Rodriguez had the talent but not the school. Here we will see much more training. I don’t think money was an issue to McLaren when they chose Checo, and I believe they have a better eye than we do, when they had their picking. So, all I am stating is that you should give Gutierrez a chance to prove himself. I think he will settle in after the third race, but that is just my humble opinion based in all the commitment that Telmex is taking in developing their careers. By the way, people in the Telmex team, the same that have Memo Rojas winning in a third consecutive year the Daytona 24, think that even Gutierrez might have a brighter future than Checo. My two cents.

  14. Still a stepped nose, but the way they’ve done it looks pretty good.

  15. mole (@mole) said on 3rd February 2013, 13:05

    Bloody hell those sidepods are TINY. If you look at the outer bargeboards, thats where the sidepods were 2 years ago

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