2012 C31 will be raced next season by the Swiss squad’s unchanged driver line-up of Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez, as they look to get better on their seventh-place finish in the 2011 constructors’ championship.
In a light-hearted press release revealing the launch date, Sauber suggested that technical director James Key has also been busy overseeing the creation of a ‘carbon-fibre Advent wreath’ for the Christmas period, which has been bonded to the 17-metre-high ceiling of the team’s wind tunnel building using a ‘pushrod-actuated wishbone construction’.
“The circular form of the wreath conforms strictly with Christmas regulations to ensure there aren’t any of those seasonal arguments,” explained Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn, with team principal Peter Sauber adding: “The wreath’s impressive performance really comes into its own on Sundays, when we need it most. Further development stages will follow in the run-up to Christmas Eve.”
According to Sauber, the wreath has a closed circuit design and weighs 640 kilograms (not including candles). Furthermore, the candles – made from high-density beeswax – are kept aspirated off-throttle to ensure optimum flame development…
The first pre-season test at Jerez will last for a total of four days, before the teams travel to the Circuit de Catalunya near the city of Barcelona for eight days of running.