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Sauber looks ahead to first test of 2013

Just a week after the longest-ever F1 season ended, Peter Sauber is already looking ahead to the first official action of 2013.

The Swiss team’s founder revealed in his column for the Sonntagsblick newspaper that Sauber’s 2013 car – the Ferrari-powered C32 – will be tested for the first time at Jerez on February 5.

“I’m very confident,” Sauber wrote.  “Because the technical rules are not changing much, we can build on the C31.  We are currently on schedule.

“I am convinced that on February 5 at Jerez we will put a fast car on the track.”

Sauber, having lost Sergio Perez to McLaren and dropped Kamui Kobayashi, will have an all-new driver lineup next year.

“I don’t need to say much about Nico Hulkenberg,” said Peter Sauber.  “What particularly impressed me in the second half of the season was how he dominated his highly rated teammate Paul di Resta.

“And his performance in Sao Paulo inspired us all,” he added.

Hulkenberg’s teammate will be the Telmex-backed Mexican rookie Esteban Gutierrez.