Sauber: Australian GP Saturday report

Press Release

Weather: sunny and dry, 19°C air, 26-35°C track

After a very positive first qualifying session in which Kamui Kobayashi set the fastest lap overall and Sergio Pérez was fifth, the second part of qualifying turned out to be disappointing for the Sauber F1 Team. Kobayashi struggled from a lack of grip and some traffic and could not repeat the lap time he did in Q1. The Japanese qualified 13th for the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne. For Pérez Q2 was even worse as he could not do a flying lap because of a gearbox problem. The Mexican finished last in Q2, which means he qualified 17th overall.

Kamui Kobayashi:
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056)
Qualifying: 13th in Q2 (1:26.590 min / new soft tyres)
3rd Practice: 13th (1:26.755 min / new soft tyres / 21 laps)
“This is obviously disappointing. In Q1 I was really happy with the car and the grip and, of course, it felt great to have set the fastest lap. But then on my second run in Q2 with another new set of soft tyres I just could not find grip. I have no explanation for that, it felt totally different. I also had traffic in the last sector, but the main surprise was the lack of grip. Thirteenth is not really a nice position to start from and it doesn’t reflect the potential of the car. However, we will try to achieve the best possible result tomorrow.”

Sergio Pérez:
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
Qualifying: 17th in Q2 (no lap time, gearbox problem)
3rd Practice: 9th (1:26.632 min / new soft tyres / 20 laps)
”We made some set-up changes to the car today and in Q1 I was busy adapting my driving style a bit. In Q2 I knew exactly what to do but then I could not shift anymore because of a gearbox problem. It is a true shame as there was a lot more to come from the car and from myself. Starting from 17th will make it very difficult to get a good result on Sunday. I will do my best.“

Peter Sauber, Team Principal:
“After a very promising start to qualifying, the result is obviously a big disappointment. Kamui was quickest in Q1 with a time that would have been seventh best in Q2. Unfortunately things didn’t work out for him in Q2 and he was out. Sergio suffered a gearbox failure and didn’t have the chance to set a time in the second qualifying session. The positive thing is we confirmed that our car is fast, which gives us hope for the race, although overtaking is not easy here.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“P 13 and P 17 definitely don’t reflect our true potential, but things just went wrong in qualifying. It was bad luck that both our drivers were on their first runs when Fernando Alonso spun. In the second outing Kamui got held up by Mark Webber, who made a mistake in corner one in front of Kamui when he was on his out lap and was then not able to heat up his tyres properly. Sergio suffered a gearbox failure which we need to analyse. We will now do our utmost to fight back in the race.”