Motorsports Mondial

Photo: Sauberf1

Sauber F1 Team launches C31 in Jerez


Hinwil/Jerez de la Frontera – Today, Monday, the Sauber F1 Team launches its new car for the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship. Drivers Kamui Kobayashi (25) and Sergio Pérez (22) unveil the Sauber C31-Ferrari at the Jerez de la Frontera circuit in Spain, where on Tuesday official Formula One pre-season testing will get underway. For filming purposes the C31 will cover its initial laps today.

The Sauber F1 Team will enter its 20th season in the FIA Formula One World Championship spearheaded by an unchanged driver line-up. With Kamui Kobayashi, Sergio Pérez and reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez piloting the new Sauber C31-Ferrari, the Swiss outfit will be looking to further improve in 2012. “We’re aiming to start the new season as strongly as we did in 2011, but then also to maintain this level of performance throughout the year,” explains Team Principal Peter Sauber. “Our goal is to finish regularly in the points so as to put ourselves in a significantly better position in the World Championship.”

Only three of their rivals on this year’s grid have been in Formula One longer than Peter Sauber’s team. After an excellent start to 2011, the team’s form fell away mid-way through the season following the decision to cease development of a controversial technology. “The Sauber C31-Ferrari boasts a large number of promising new developments, but in other areas it is a systematic further development of last year’s car,” says Sauber.

“We are looking forward to another season working with our young and talented drivers,” adds the Team Principal. “Kamui will be competing in his third full season in F1. Last year we asked him to take on leadership responsibilities within the team and he has grown into the role. With his rookie season behind him Sergio is now approaching his second season, which is often the most difficult in a driver’s Formula One career. Both drivers have huge potential and will work with the same race engineers as in 2011 to continue developing that promise. Esteban will be competing full-time in GP2 in his second season in the category and has shown – most recently in the November test – that he could also step into the car for a Grand Prix, if required.”

Young & quick

The personable Kamui Kobayashi (25) became an instant favourite of Formula One fans on his arrival in the sport, not least with his daring but fair overtaking moves. “2012 will be not only my third season in Formula One, but also my third with the same team,” says the young Japanese. “We’ve been through a lot together and can benefit from our shared experiences. In my first year with the team we had a bad start but a good second half to the season. The second year was the exact reverse. In our third year together we should be a reliable bet to finish consistently in the points. I’m really looking forward to the new season with the Sauber F1 Team.

In 2012 Sergio Pérez (22) is setting out to put the lessons from a turbulent but impressive rookie season in 2011 into practice. “My first year in Formula One felt like three years, there were so many new things to take in,” admits the Mexican. “But now I feel like I’ve arrived in Formula One and I’m determined to take a step up in 2012 and achieve better results for the team on a regular basis.”

20-year-old Esteban Gutiérrez will be focusing on the races in the GP2 Series. “At the same time,” says the team’s other Mexican driver, “I’m looking forward to working more with the Sauber F1 Team. I’m learning a lot by being able to experience and analyse the professionalism and intensity of the team’s work from the inside. It’s good preparation for me.”