Sauber C31

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Sauber C31
Sergio Perez 2012 Malaysia FP2.jpg
CategoryFormula One
Designer(s)James Key (Technical Director)
Matt Morris (Chief Designer)[1]
Pierre Waché (Head of Vehicle Performance)
Willem Toet (Head of Aerodynamics)
Seamus Mullarkey (Head of Aerodynamic Research)
Mariano Alperin (Head of Aerodynamic Development)
PredecessorSauber C30
SuccessorSauber C32
Technical specifications[2]
ChassisCarbon-fibre monocoque
Suspension (front)Upper and lower wishbones, inboard springs and dampers (SRE) actuated by pushrods
Suspension (rear)Upper and lower wishbones, inboard springs and dampers (SRE) actuated by pullrods
EngineFerrari 056 2,398 ccm mid-mounted
TransmissionFerrari 7-speed Quick-shift carbon gearbox, longitudinally mounted, carbon-fibre clutch
Weight640 kg (incl. driver, tank empty)
FuelShell V-Power ULG-66L/2
TyresPirelli P Zero (dry), Cinturato (wet)[3]
Competition history
Notable entrantsSauber F1 Team
Notable drivers14. Japan Kamui Kobayashi[4]
15. Mexico Sergio Pérez[4]
Debut2012 Australian Grand Prix

The Sauber C31[5] was a Formula One racing car designed by Sauber for use in the 2012 Formula One season. The car was driven by Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez. Technical director James Key announced that he was leaving the team just four days before the C31 was due to be launched at Jerez de la Frontera.[6]

The chassis was designed by James Key, Matt Morris, Pierre Waché and Willem Toet with the car being powered with a customer Ferrari engine.

Unlike previous cars such as the Sauber C29 and to a lesser extent, the C30, the C31 has much more visual sponsorship applied to the car such as Telmex, Telcel, Claro, Chelsea FC, Tequila Cuervo, Visit México, Oerlikon, NEC and Certina. Many of which are Mexican based companies brought from driver Sergio Pérez and reserve driver Esteban Gutiérrez.

Season review[edit]

Pérez during the Canadian Grand Prix.

The C31 achieved its first podium, with Pérez behind the wheel, at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

At the Spanish Grand Prix the Chelsea FC logo was added to the car.[7][8]

On June 10, Pérez achieved his second podium of the season at the Canadian Grand Prix with third place, while Kobayashi added a ninth place to help Sauber move up to sixth place in the Constructors' Championship.[9]

For the German Grand Prix the C31 achieved its best points haul of the season with Kobayashi coming in fifth position before a penalty pushed him up into fourth, with Pérez following him home in sixth, giving the team 20 points in one round. This was their best scoring round since returning to Formula One as a privateer team.[10]

At the Belgian GP Kobayashi started second and Pérez fourth (the best grid positions in Sauber's history). At the start of the race, Romain Grosjean caused a spectacular crash taking himself, Pérez, championship leader Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton out of action. Kobayashi's Sauber was also damaged in the incident which knocked him right down the field and he finished the race in 13th place.

The Italian GP turned out to be a great weekend for the Sauber F1 team and they scored 20 points. Pérez scored second place (his third podium of the season), and Kobayashi ninth. Pérez had a strong race, overtaking drivers like Schumacher, Räikkönen, Rosberg, Massa and Alonso. The Sauber team had a great strategy with Pérez's car, starting on hard tyres and changing it to medium compound tyres by lap 30 of 53 (the opposite strategy to those who started at the front of the grid). Kobayashi started in 8th place and finished in 9th, scoring two points.


The Sauber C31 finished the 2012 season in a very respectable sixth place with 126 points (as much as a private team since 1993), two fastest laps (China and Monaco), four podiums (Malaysia, Canada, Italy and Japan) and 13 Q3. The car proved to be fast and very competitive, though inconsistent to find the set-up in some circuits and, above all, at the time of the race qualifications.[11][12]

Use in testing

The Sauber C31 has been used to test young drivers by the team. Former IndyCar Series driver Simona de Silvestro tested the C31 during her time with the team. She drove the car at the Fiorano Circuit, owned by engine supplier Ferrari and used by them to test. The car has also been used by the team to test young drivers Adderly Fong and Roy Nissany in a two-day test at the Circuit Ricardo Tormo. The car completed 99 laps at the circuit on both days with Fong driving on day one and Nissany driving on day two.

Complete Formula One results[edit]

(key) (results in bold indicate pole position; results in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant Engine Tyres Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Points WCC
Japan Kamui Kobayashi 6 Ret 10 13 5 Ret 9 Ret 11 4 18 13 9 13 3 Ret 14 6 14 9
Mexico Sergio Pérez 8 2 11 11 Ret 11 3 9 Ret 6 14 Ret 2 10 Ret 11 Ret 15 11 Ret

Driver failed to finish, but was classified as they had completed over 90% of the race distance.


  1. ^ "Sauber C31" (in German). Sauber F1 Team. Archived from the original on 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  2. ^ "Appearance" (in German). Sauber F1 Team. Archived from the original on 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  3. ^ Noble, Jonathan (25 January 2012). "Pirelli tweaks tyre markings for 2012 F1 season". Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Kobayashi and Perez to stay at Sauber in 2012". Formula One World Championship. 28 July 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
  5. ^ "Sauber". 14 December 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  6. ^ Collantine, Keith (3 February 2012). "Sauber technical director James Key leaves the team". F1 Fanatic. Keith Collantine. Retrieved 4 February 2012.
  7. ^ "Home | Official Site | Chelsea Football Club". Archived from the original on June 1, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  8. ^ Chelsea (2012-04-30). "Chelsea join forces with Sauber F1 to increase global reach of the London club". Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  9. ^ "Canadian GP: Race". Sauber F1 Team. Sauber F1. 11 June 2012. Archived from the original on 22 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
  10. ^ "Vettel receives time penalty, demoted to fifth". 2012-07-22. Archived from the original on 2012-07-25. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  11. ^ "Results".
  12. ^ "2012 F1 qualifying data · F1 Fanatic".

External links[edit]