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C32's packaging a 'big challenge'

ESPN Staff
February 2, 2013 « Mercedes' preview of W04 crashes | Red Bull RB9 launched in Milton Keynes »
Matt Morris on the Sauber C32: "It's been a very big challenge for us" © Sutton Images
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Sauber chief designer Matt Morris says the packaging of the new C32 has been a "very big challenge" over the winter.

The new car features some very distinctive narrow sidepods, designed to lessen the disruption of the airflow to the back of the car. Morris said that packaging the radiators had been a challenge but he hopes the team's hard work pays off.

"It's obviously aero driven and it's been a huge challenge for us, both structure wise and packaging wise in terms of all the radiators and electronic boxes while making sure we pass all the mandatory FIA safety tests," he said at the launch. "It's been a very big challenge for us."

He joked that the inspiration had come from Sergio Perez's side-on collision with the barriers at Monaco in 2010.

"Checo had quite a bad accident in Monaco a couple of years ago, and when we got the car back and saw that the sidepods all squashed in we wondered if we could do that for real."

Morris also explained that Sauber had opted for a different take on the stepped nose, with a vanity panel fitted but acting more as a channel towards the step rather than covering it entirely.

"The regulations in 2013 have not changed a lot really," Morris said. "But as you can see we've created a very visually different car to last year. Starting at the front, one of the regulations that has changed is that we are allowed to fit a vanity panel, basically a non-structural fairing that allows you to hide the stepped nose.

"It's one of the big questions that everybody has been asking all the teams, 'will they or won't they have a stepped nose?' I think we've got something in between."