Adapted from GMM
After Red Bull, Ferrari is planning to follow Sauber's lead when the first major development of the disappointing F2012 car is unveiled soon.
Fernando Alonso's win was a complete surprise, but the name of another team was on more paddock-dwellers' lips after Malaysia -- Sauber.
"Only one team could do consistently good laptimes on all the tires and in all the conditions, and it was Sauber," confirmed Martin Whitmarsh, whose McLaren team had travelled to Sepang with arguably the fastest car.
Also in Germany's Auto Motor und Sport
, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner agreed: "They (Sauber) have somehow managed to get all of the tires to work perfectly, which at the moment is the key to success. The (tire) window is so small that it's very easy to not be in it."
|Sauber chasing Ferrari in Malaysia. (Photo: Pirelli)
And Sepang winner Fernando Alonso, whose victory was only ensured by a late-race mistake by Sauber's Sergio Perez, admitted: "No doubt about it, they were quicker than us."
Some believe it was only the Malaysian weather chaos that brought the Ferrari-powered C31 to the top of F1's form-guide, but the Sauber was in fact also fast in Australia.
"Our cars were severely damaged at the start (in Melbourne)," explained chief designer Matt Morris. "At the front for Perez, the rear for Kobayashi."
Nonetheless, both finished inside the top eight.
"The race in Malaysia showed very clearly how fast our car is," insisted team boss Peter Sauber, writing in Blick
newspaper. "After two very different tracks, we have the assurance now that the C31 is a success."
|Sergio Perez, Sauber C31, in Malaysia. (Photo: Sauber F1 Team)
The next question is precisely how the small Hinwil based team has managed to build a pace-setting car.
In the wake of the blown diffuser clampdown, the Sauber exhaust layout reportedly flies close to breaching the spirit of the 2012 rules, but the FIA has declared it legal.
"We are not in a position to be able to say exactly how much aerodynamic influence each individual system has. Hence, it's impossible for us to say 'That's too much, or that's ok'. The aim of the new regulation was to ensure that we don't have to do that," said the governing body's technical delegate Charlie Whiting.
Referring to the FIA exhaust clampdown, Matt Morris admitted: "We had to give up less than our opponents."
Right at the end of the pre-season test period, Red Bull rolled out a Sauber-esque solution at the rear of Adrian Newey's 2012 car, the RB8.
Peter Sauber says: "When I saw that Red Bull had chosen a similar route to us, I was sure that we were right."
|Back of the C31 Sauber. (Photo: WRi2)
The Italian magazine Autosprint
have mischievously christened the updated Ferrari a 'Ferrauber', explaining that the rear of the 'B' F2012 will be very similar to Sauber's impressive C31.
Ferrari looks to be the next in line to copy Sauber's rear solution, particularly as the small Swiss team already uses Ferrari's engine and gearbox.
It is believed the new 2012 Ferrari gearbox is narrower than last year's unit. Autosprint
reports that the F2012 'Ferrauber' will also be similar to the Sauber in the area of the sidepods.