Sauber to launch C31 at Jerez

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Sauber reveal the launch date for the 2011 F1 car.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

Sauber will reveal their C31 in Jerez on February 6th. Added to the F1 Fanatic Google calendar.

Bernie Ecclestone says Formula 1 will not be big in the United States (BBC)

“Formula 1 will not be big in America. But Formula 1 will be in Russia for 2014, and in South Africa by 2013 even.”

Timo Glock via Twitter

“Great to have Nico Hulkenberg back on the F1 grid! Looking forward to the driver briefings! congrats Timo Gans and Nico Hulkenberg.”

Button on battling Webber (MotorSport)

Mark [Webber] doesn?t give you a millimetre more than you need. He?s the toughest nut, and he takes more risks than the others.”

Mike Gascoyne via Twitter

“Great week. Renaming as Caterham F1 Team on Tuesday and today our first chassis, CT-01 passes all FIA homologation test. Well done all.”

Sky Sports F1 – Pre-Season Shoot (YouTube)

F1 Fanatic via Twitter

“Silverstone says its development plan has been approved by Aylesbury Vale and South Northamptonshire Councils.”

James Calado via Twitter

Bahrain twice.. Stupid.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Glump asked why try to rank the F1 drivers when we already have a championship points table – and Dobin1000 responded:

Because humans are curious; we love to talk about “what ifs”. If you don?t care then that is fine, but other people want to try and work out what would happen if you could separate them.

[…] There is no right answer. If it was pure scientific fact then there would be no debate or discussion and that is what the championship table is for ?ǣ pure numbers with no emotion or subjectivity to determine who takes the grand prize.

If F1 was only about the winner then why are there 16 or so drivers bothering to compete who have an infinitesimally small chance of winning unless something extremely unlikely happens? Because F1 is first of all about the sport: drivers racing.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Daniel Hayes and Kate!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The Natal Grand Prix, a non-championship race, was held for the first time 50 years ago today at the Westmead circuit in South Africa.

Jim Clark repeated his victory from a week earlier in the Rand Grand Prix, the Lotus driver finishing over half a minute ahead of Stirling Moss. Jo Bonnier was third again for Porsche.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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48 comments on “Sauber to launch C31 at Jerez”

  1. Interesting that Calado deleted that tweet.

    I’m glad the GP2 calendar is expanding, and I’m glad they’ll be racing at Singapore. I guess the lenght of the calendar and the travels, humidity and time zone adaption will help the drivers prepare better for F1.

    1. @enigma Having experience of F1 politics will also do them no harm ;)

      Sorry, that’s the cynic in me talking.

    2. @enigma

      I guess the lenght of the calendar and the travels, humidity and time zone adaption will help the drivers prepare better for F1.

      The intention was to have GP2 rest somewhere between Formula 1 and GP3. Most drivers are already familiar with the European circuits, so GP2 now offers some that they will not have seen before, and will have to adapt to them – which is going to be very important, before for over a decade now, the Formula 1 season has started with four circuits (Melbourne, Sepang, Shanghai and Bahrain) that will be new to rookie drivers.

      Still, I think, Melbourne, Sepang, India and Austin would have been a better choice of circuits to expand out to than Sepang, Bahrain, Bahrain and Singapore.

      1. I hoped for Melbourne, Interlagos and Suzuka to be in the GP2 calendar. The double-header in Bahrain is really stupid.

        1. Well, as was pointed out in the thread on the GP2 calendar, the Bahrainis appear to be doing everything in their power to demonstrate that life has returned to normal in the island nation. With the suggestion that Sky will be broadcasting GP2 races in 2012, getting the GP2 series to support Formula 1 (and to hold an independent event) will get them a lot of coverage.

          And it makes sense from a teams’ perspective. When GP2 Asia was created, it visited Shanghai and Sepang and Sentul in Indonesia, but it was gradually scaled back to Bahrain and Abu Dhabi to cut down on costs. With GP2 Asia being amalgamated into GP2 proper, it makes sense to go to Bahrain because it cuts down on costs, and the GP2 teams said that cost was one of the biggest factors in agreeing to the expanded calendar. Bahrain isn’t that much further beyond the old eastern limit of the series (Turkey). It’s certainly cheaper to go to Bahrain for two weeks than it is to go to India and Austin or Suzuka and Interlagos. The downside is that it doesn’t create the most exciting calendar in the world – but as GP2 demosntrated this year, it can make even Yas Marina pretty darn exciting.

  2. “Formula 1 will not be big in America.”

    And yet, he’s jumped through hoops to give Austin a chance of saving itself, and broken his own rule about countries having more than one race to get a Grand Prix adjacent to Manhattan.

    A case of “do as I say, not as I do”, then?

    1. @prisoner-monkeys Perhaps not wanting to count his chickens before they hatch? Holding two races implies you’re getting a bit cocky about things, maybe he wants to keep his head down.

      Admiteddly, that sounds nothing like Ecclestone, but we all know how much he wanted a race in America, let alone one in the vicinity of New York.

    2. I’m getting tired of his bashing of everything to do with F1 being here (except of course his precious NYC race). If you want it to succeed, honey as opposed to vinegar my (not so) dear Ecclestone.

      1. Don’t read this as Bernie making dire predictions as to the fate of both races. Like I said, he went out of his way to get both races off the ground. Instead, think of it as Bernie issuing a challenge to Austin and New Jersey to prove him wrong.

    3. I think he’s being honest. F1 won’t be big in America, it will be big enough. But it won’t ever overtake NASCAR or Indy.

      He will be making a lot of money of the Texan race… I think that’s the other side to it.

  3. Sauber will reveal their C31 in Jerez on February 6th.

    They’ve got great-looking cars. They’ve got two good drivers. Sauber, if you’re reading this, can you please produce a good-looking livery in 2012?

    1. @prisoner-monkeys How about bringing back 2010’s Burger King sponsorship logo? Wow, that was desperate.

      1. Sauber didn’t approach Burger King. Burger King’s Spanish arm approached Sauber. They wanted to be involved with the team because of Pedro de la Rosa’s presence.

        No, I’m thinking that Sauber has backing from Carlos Slim’s Telmex and Claro brands. Telmex in particular has produced some fantastic liveries in the Daytona prototypes, so why can’t that translate into a good-looking Formula 1 livery. Like this fan-made design.

        1. I guess it’s down to taste. I agree that those liveries look okay, but I honestly much prefer Sauber’s current livery. I’m in the minority, obviously, but I actually think it’s the best looking car since the regulation changes at the start of 2009. This year’s Ferrari is probably a close second with last year’s Renault in third.

        2. I’ve found the last couple of years’ Saubers a bit uninspiring (livery-wise). I quite like that fan design, a little bit reminiscent of the 95 Pacific. I’d really like to see something a little bit outlandish, though, like the Brawn GP. I know a lot of people hated it, but personally I think it’s the most memorable livery of the last 20 years (actually, I think the Earth Dreams Honda will live with me forever too unfortunately). The bright yellow Jordans were great as well.

          1. @F1Addict I agree with you about Brawn. I thought that livery just got worse as the season went on and by the time they reached Brazil, it was looking no-where near as good as it did in Melbourne or Monaco, for example. They also ruined Jenson’s helmet with that Monster sponsorship…

    2. Ask the HRT people to design the livery, then we can have two special looking cars on the grid.

  4. Seriously cannot wait for the Sauber launch. The C29 was gorgeous and the C30 was even better. In my opinion, Sauber had the prettiest car on the grid this year, and I sincerely hope they don’t ditch their simple livery.

    1. I would personally like to see more of the telmex colours in there, and some splashes of red and gold too for Claro and Cuervo. Basically i just want their pre-bmw livery back :P

    2. It looked like a Lego toy, I hope they change it :-P I agree with @newnhamlea1, a Sauber livery used to be something special, then since the BMW takeover it’s been mostly white. Boring!

      1. @Icthyes @Newnhamlea1 Their pre-BMW liveries were distinctive and colourful which was nice, but I absolutely hated the yellow. The best looking Credit Suisse-era Sauber was the C24, in my opinion. Basically, as soon as they got rid of the Red Bull sponsorship which in my opinion, looked horrible.

        1. @damonsmedley @newnhamlea1 @icthyes For such a simple design this year’s livery looked great. Though my favourite Sauber was the 2001 (C20 I reckon).

          1. @Enigma I’m glad someone agrees with me! I know I’m mad, but at least I’m not alone. ;)

  5. so the 2012 Caterham passes the crash tests. Either they’re ahead of schedule or the car is going to be awfully similar to last years.

    1. @Cacarella I would think their schedule is going to plan. They have KERS to adapt to and ventilate as well as new aero rules affecting the exhausts.

    2. The rules have been changed since last year. In 2011, cars only needed to pass their crash tests before the first race of the season. In 2012, they need to pass the tests before the first winter test session, which is scheduled for the first week of February. Since the crash tests mostly apply to the survival cell and the front nose assembly, the teams need to pass them before they can start fleshing out their bodywork. With Christmas and the New year just around the corner, the team factories will be shutting down some time next week, and they won’t re-open until January. There will then be a month before the first test to make any necessary changes to the survival cell and nose assembly, and re-take the crash tests. So I’d say that every team that wants to be present at the first test will try and get their crash tests done before Christmas. The difference is that Caterham are broadcasting their every development (they were, after all, the first team to really embrace Twitter over the course of a race weekend) when other teams are not.

      Besides, the CT-01 will have been in development for months. Most of the teams start really concentrating on their next car from around the time of the Italian Grand Prix, or the end of the European season, once they have their final few upgrades planned out and ready to go.

    3. Gascoyne said they are going to have something to beat the more established teams. There is also pressure on him to get the car further up. I would agree with @AndrewTanner and just say they’re on schedule and the car wont be like this years.

  6. Isn’t Ferrari also suppose to launch their car before the first test?

    1. @wasif1 Yep. The majority of the teams will launch the car a few days before, or on the first day of Jerez testing, with Mercedes being the exception.

      1. @enigma – I’m also pretty sure that McLaren will debut the MP4-27A at the second test.

        1. But Mclaren being Mclaren will surely have a big unveiling ceremony, last year it was Berlin City Square, the year before it was at Vodafone UK HQ – so we will get to see it before the testing begins – or at least we will see what they want us to see ;)

  7. What in the world is Bernie thinking? He does seem to be doing his best to undermine the GP at Austin. “No contract.” “It won’t happen.” “F1 won’t succeed in the US.”

    Hey, Bernie, a word of advice from one of the hundreds of thousands of US F1 fans: SHUT UP. We’re ready and willing to give you our money once the sport gets here, but you’re making it perfectly clear that you don’t want us or our dollars.

    Give us a chance. We’ve shown that we can blow attendance records out of the water before. F1 fans here in the US understand the sport at least as well as fans from Britain, France, Germany and Abu Dhabi. We even understand that race cars can turn right, too.

    Will F1 ever be as popular as NASCAR here in the US? No, probably not, but the fans that exist now are exactly the type you want a sport to have: hard-core die-hards… the type who’ll wake up at five in the morning to watch a race on a Sunday.

    We’re also quite good at converting the heathens to the True Form of racing. Having a race or two here will make it even easier.

    So whaddya say, Bernie? You lay off the dumb comments, and we’ll make you rich. Richer. You know what I mean.

    1. @wonderduck

      What in the world is Bernie thinking?

      I think he’s challenging both venues to prove him wrong. Like I said earlier, he’s gone out of his way to secure two races there. It’s wildly out of character or him to turn around and write both off – unless he’s trying to bait them into upping their game.

    2. hard-core die-hards… the type who’ll wake up at five in the morning to watch a race on a Sunday.

      Here here! Now, we in Canada already have a race, but you can bet your ass I’m booking my flight to Austin already!

  8. I am still not sure if Hulk is the correct choice for Force India.
    People root for Hulk due to his story – Making two amazing qualifying laps in the wet in a slow car built by a team that has a rich and cherished history and getting dumped the next week due to money issues.

    Out of all the support that Hulk enjoys, most of it is due to sympathy rather than actual belief in his talent.

    Dropping Sutil made sense, it was time to move one for both FI and Sutil. But Hulk! Not sure, Paul will mop the floor with him I am afraid.

    1. two amazing qualifying laps in the wet in a slow car

      Out of how many laps in the season?

      Allowing for two laps in every qualifying period at every circuit, that’s 114 laps. Two good laps in one hundred and fourteen. That doesn’t make an entire career. That just demonstrates that Hulkenberg was able to make a good tyre choice in qualifying. And while that is a key ability for a driver to have, it doesn’t elevate him to the same ranks as Hamilton and Alonso.

      Now, if Hulkenberg had been able to do that on a regular basis, then I could understand the hype. But looking at the rest of his season, I’m seeing a tendency to finisher lower than he started, and a history of abysmal starts. If you watch the start of the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix in particular, you’ll see that was is a good two seconds slower than anybody else to react to the lights going out.

      1. @Prisoner-Monkeys

        If you watch the start of the 2010 Japanese Grand Prix in particular, you’ll see that was is a good two seconds slower than anybody else to react to the lights going out.

        That’s not right at all, sorry. I’ll even prove it to you by uploading the footage. Here you can see Nico did not miss the start at all. In fact, he jumped it much alike Vettel did, only he wasn’t as quick to get going again. He drops the clutch, but realises the lights are still on, slams on the brakes, pulls the clutch back in and then has to let it out again. In his panic, he also gets a lot of wheelspin, further compounding his predicament. Then Petrov hits him which (I may be crazy for thinking this) I don’t think he deserved a penalty for.

        1. I admit, I only have the overhead view to go on by now. But that doesn’t change the fact that Hulkenberg was consistently the poorest starter of 2010. Even his reactions to blowing the start are simply too slow.

          And I don’t think Petrov deserved his penalty, either. Not because I’m a Petrov fan, but because I think it was just a racing incident. Petrov went for a gap, Hulkenberg went defensive, and I doubt either of them saw the other until they both came to a stop.

          1. @Prisoner-Monkeys I honestly can’t remember Hulkenberg getting many poor starts but there’s little I can remember from him except his qualifying lap in Brazil. I’ve not seen enough from Nico to be a fan, but I don’t think he’s as bad as you make him out to be.

            Regarding Petrov, I agree. And it was the start of the race so things are always chaotic so I was surprised both he and Massa were treated so harshly by the stewards.

          2. I don’t think Hulkenberg is bad, I just think he’s over-rated. All anyone can ever remember of him was his pole in Brazil, which does make a career. He was the worst starter on the grid for most of the season, and he developed the unfortunate habit of finishing lower than he started.

  9. Keith, in the first line you say Sauber to reveal the launch date 2011 car, I hope that’s not a sign they aren’t moving forward.

  10. I’ve found this report claiming that Ferrari want to drop Massa for Sutil. But that’s not what has my attention (I think it’s rubbish) – the more important article of note is the claim that Rubens Barrichello has found five million Euros’ worth of sponsorship for 2012.

    1. i have no doubt that Sutil will be better than Massa in ferrari but the strategy of ferrari is clear they want to keep massa for 2012 & then they will replace him by Robert Kubica if he will recover from the accident or by Sergio Perez

      1. They won’t put Kubica straight into the car without any certainty that he will be ready for it. I think they’ll ride out 2012 with Massa, and then put Perez in the seat.

        I wasn’t trying to point out the Sutil-to-Ferrari rumours with that post. I was actually trying to highligt the report that Rubens Barrichello has found some sponsorship.

        1. @prisoner-monkeys

          I think it might be a bit different than you imagine. Rumors are that Robert will be a Ferrari test driver and get some time behind the wheel, giving Ferrari proper evaluation of his pace. It is a odd that Kubica and his manager would put themselves in a position where there is little chance of returning to F1. Renault were willing to negotiate but only for a long term contract, and it seems that Robert wants none of that. As of now, these are just rumors and speculation so don’t take my word for it, but I wont be surprised if it will happen.

  11. It appears that Kingfisher Airlines is about to get bailed out – by Subrata Roy, who controls the Sahara Group. The same Sahara Group who bought a $100 million stake in Force India ahead of the Indian Grand Prix.

    I’m willing to bet that Sahara are going to have a lot of influence on Force India next year.

  12. A tad late, but better late then never, eh. Happy Birthday both to Daniel Hayes and to @Kate!

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