Auto Racing

Sauber unveils new car, team ahead of F1 season

Associated Press
2/2/2013 12:21:22 PM
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HINWIL, Switzerland -- Formula One team Sauber unveiled its C-32 Ferrari car for the 2013 season on Saturday along with its all-new driving team of Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez.

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said Sauber aimed to keep the strengths and improve the weaknesses of a C-31 model which earned sixth place in the constructors' championship last season.

"It's based on its predecessor which was a very competitive car," Kaltenborn said at a launch ceremony at Sauber headquarters.

In 2012, Sauber drivers Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi combined to get four podium finishes. Perez, a 23-year-old Mexican, was hired by McLaren and Japan's Kobayashi has left the team.

Hulkenberg, a 25-year-old German, finished 11th in the drivers' standings last year for Force India.

Aged just 21, Mexico's Gutierrez will graduate from being Sauber's test driver to make his F1 debut in Australia on March 17.

"We have very high expectations of both of them," said Kaltenborn, praising Hulkenberg as "a very efficient driver.

"If he gets an opportunity, he takes that and brings the result home," she said.

Hulkenberg said the charcoal grey-liveried car looked "absolutely perfect."

"Of anyone here, I think my expectations are the highest," said Hulkenberg, who led for part of his last race in November, the Brazilian Grand Prix. In Sao Paulo in 2010, he got the only pole position of his career for the Williams team.

Gutierrez said the car was "innovative" and an exciting prospect.

"We still don't know if it's still the best solution but we'll drive it now in the tests," he said.

Sauber begins testing the C-32 on Tuesday at Jerez, Spain.

Team Sauber (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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