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Monisha: Have a strong platform

Calcutta: The Sauber F1 team unveiled its car — Sauber C32-Ferrari — for the upcoming season, at the team’s base in Hinwil, Switzerland, on Saturday.

The roll-out of the Sauber C32 will take place during the first winter test at Jerez de la Frontera on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said: “2012 was a very successful year for us… We not only moved up from seventh to sixth place in the constructors’ standings, but also improved our points total from 44 in 2011 to 126 last season.

“We have a strong platform in place now, on which we are aiming to build and continue our upward curve.”

The Team Principal was bullish about the prospects for the team’s new driver pairing — Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez.

“We have had our eye on Nico Hulkenberg for some time and have been impressed by his performances. He is very quick, but, most importantly, he’s also very efficient.

“He understands how to pick up as many points as possible from a particular race situation.

“Esteban Gutierrez is a driver we know very well as a result of a relationship with the team going back several years, and he has already had a number of opportunities to test with our car.

“Plus, he has always stayed in close contact with our engineers, which has allowed him to learn a lot about Formula One. I’m in no doubt he is now ready to take the final step and put his outstanding talent on display.”

Gutiérrez has been succeeded as test and reserve driver by 21-year-old Dutchman Robin Frijns.

“We rate him as an extraordinarily gifted young man, so we decided to give him this opportunity,” explained Kaltenborn. “We will now set about introducing him step by step to life in Formula One.”

Hulkenberg is entering his third F1 season in a race seat. The German spent 2010 — his rookie year — with Williams and 2012 at the wheel of a Force India car. “The Sauber F1 Team made significant progress last year from 2011,” the German driver said.

“Now the team is ready to take the next step, and I want to play my part in making that happen. My personal aim is to put in a good, steady performance this season.”