Sauber is an oddity in the F1 world. The team has been using reliable Ferrari power since 2010, yet it’s highest finish was last year, in sixth place, with Sergio Perez (who is now at McLaren) and Kamui Kobayashi at the wheel. In fact, Sauber hasn’t been able to break its tradition of mid-pack finishes since 2008, when it placed third behind Ferrari and McLaren.
For 2013, it’s safe to say the team are hoping to get back to 2008’s level of performance with the C32. Besides the Ferrari engine, Sauber will also be taking advantage of a Ferrari KERS system. As for the overall look of the car, Sauber elected to fit the “vanity panel” on the nose, while the sidepods are considerably narrower than past F1 cars. It looks darn good to us, and as we all know, a pretty racecar is usually a fast racecar. Let’s hope that holds up for Sauber this season.
As we mentioned, Sergio Perez has moved on to McLaren for 2013, and has been replaced by Nico Hulkenberg. Joining the German is Mexican rookie Esteban Gutierrez, who won the first GP3 Series championship in 2010, and finished third in 2012’s GP2 Series. While technically a rookie, Gutierrez has spent two seasons as Sauber’s test driver.