Sauber versus Toro Rosso battle heats up

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C30.

Sergio Perez

Nov.12 (F1 Media) In the battle for seventh spot in the Constructors’ Championship, Sauber grabbed a small advantage over Toro Rosso in Abu Dhabi qualifying.

While many of the placings in this year’s Constructors Championship are unlikely to change between now and the end of the season two weeks hence in Brazil, the one struggle that catches the eye is that between Toro Rosso and Sauber. Both teams have 41 points, ten less than Force India and 36 more than Williams. Sauber currently hold seventh spot by virtue of Kamui Kobayashi’s fifth place in Monaco, though Toro Rosso have had the better form over the last few races thanks to a significant upgrade package first fitted in Japan.

Today, though, Sauber appeared to once again have a small advantage. Sergio Pérez qualified in 11th position, whereas they two Toro Rossos, after both making the top ten in India, could only manage 13th (Sébastien Buemi) and 15th(Jaime Alguersuari). They were, however, ahead of Kobayashi, who will start 16th.

“I’m very happy with 11th in qualifying,” said Pérez. “Everybody in the team did a good job. I did my fastest lap time in Q2 with a set of soft tyres I had used before in Q1. Of course I was hoping to improve in Q2 when I got the fresh tyres, but it was impossible for me to get them to work. We are in a challenging situation regarding the battle for positions in the Constructors’ Championship, but I hope for a good race with an aggressive strategy tomorrow. Everything can happen. It will be my first twilight race, but I have seen yesterday and today that the tinted tear-off visors work quite well.”

Toro Rosso, however, have often proved this season to be more competitive when racing than qualifying, so understandably the team was optimistic of overhauling their rivals. “This is a case where we can apply the cliché that we should be better in race trim than in qualifying,” confirmed technical director Giorgio Ascanelli. “Sergio is a tenth ahead and Kobayashi is a tenth behind, so it should be an interesting and exciting battle tomorrow evening. Fortunately for Pirelli, but unfortunately for us, the tyre situation looks stable so I am not expecting any unusual developments on that front to come along and help us and make it more fun.”

While Pérez is in his rookie season, Kobayashi, Alguersuari and Buemi have all scored points at this circuit in the past.