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.
Designer 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.
“However, we had problems now and again when it came to getting the maximum out of them in qualifying. We?óÔé¼Ôäóve 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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