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Sauber is the fifth team to unveil its 2013 contender, the C32, which was launched at the team's Hinwil HQ, being a very different proposition visually from its predecessor.
A year ago almost all the cars on the grid had one particular feature in common: a stepped nose. This design element caused an outcry among many fans, but was rendered nigh-on unavoidable by the regulations. For 2013, the FIA has allowed a cosmetic fairing to be used in this area, while retaining the current chassis and structural nose height regulations.
The nose now sweeps down smoothly towards the track, which not only improves the car’s looks, but, more significantly, enhances the aerodynamics of the front end.
With the front wing, the Sauber aerodynamicists have put their faith in a proven formula, further optimising last year’s development and thus improving its aerodynamic efficiency.
The engineers also remained true to the basic concept of the front suspension, carrying out only minor adjustments.
The sidepods of the C32 are notably slimmer than the Formula One norm up to now and are responsible for giving the new car a very distinctive look. “The airflow in this area has a major influence over everything that happens at the rear of the car,” said Chief Designer, Matt Morris, offering a glimpse into the team’s thinking.
The significantly reduced volume of the sidepods over conventional variants makes packaging a particular challenge. Even the smallest empty space has been used to accommodate the countless components.
An extremely slim rear end was high up the engineers’ list of priorities. One of the key aspects here is the arrangement of the radiators, which is very different from that in the C31. A look at the rear end of the new car reveals the engineers’ rigorous approach to this area.
“It is one thing the aerodynamicists coming up with great ideas," said Morris, "but they are often difficult to make into reality. In this respect, the design and production team has done a fantastic job on the side pods, both from a structural and packaging perspective.”
The aerodynamicists have also invested a lot of time developing the details around the exhaust exits – an area which has a major impact on performance and in which the Sauber team was one of the leading exponents last season.
As before, the car’s KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), engine and gearbox are supplied by Ferrari. The KERS is based on last year’s version, but its weight and packaging volume have been optimised.
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