Sauber took the covers off of their 2012 Formula 1 racer at Jerez this morning.
After narrowly staying ahead of Toro Rosso for 7th in the Constructors’ Championship last year, the Swiss squad hope the C31 will take them closer to the top six.
In 2011, Sauber finished twenty-five points shy of Force India, who held 6th behind Renault (now Lotus) and Mercedes.
Despite a strong start to the year, Sauber’s form fell away during the mid-season, with lead driver Kamui Kobayashi suffering especially as opponents caught and passed the Swiss squad.
With the retention of their three drivers –Kobayashi, Sergio Perez and reserve Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber are seeking better results from an increasingly stable camp.
Although acting as reserve, it is unclear yet whether Gutierrez will run in any Friday morning sessions; however he will continue full-time in the GP2 Series when that kicks off at Sepang, Malaysia in April.
The C31 upholds several common evolutions seen thus far in other launches (i.e. revised sidepods, suspension layouts and step-nose), although Chief Designer Matt Morris admitted the rear end needed a “tidier” design.
The launch comes off the back of a recent reshuffle within Sauber that saw Technical Director part ways with the team last month.