Sauber basking in the spotlight as excellent form continues

Formula One World Championship / RD03 / China GP / Shanghai / Shanghai International Circuit /  13.04 - 15.04.2012

Kamui Kobayashi will start the Chinese Grand Prix from third on the grid

Apr.14 (F1 Media) Kamui Kobayashi will start third and Sergio Pérez eighth after Sauber’s best qualifying performance of the current era, enabling the Swiss outfit to carry momentum from the last race in Malaysia where they challenged strongly for top honours in tricky conditions.

Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber and Kamui Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber on the drivers parade. Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday 25 March 2012.

Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi have impressed in the early part of the 2012 season

While most of the attention after qualifying was lavished on Mercedes for their first pole position since the 1950s, Sauber were no less happy with an excellent fourth place for Kobayashi which will translate into third on the grid with Lewis Hamilton taking a five-place grid penalty. “I am very happy, the team did a great job,” said the Japanese driver. “For quite a while we have kept saying we need to improve our qualifying performance, and I think this was a clear improvement today.

This grid position obviously means a lot of chances. However, I am not a dreamer and the target remains the same: score as many points as you can. We have a strong car, normally it is also good on tyres and I am looking forward to the race full of confidence.” Under the ownership of BMW, the Saubers of Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld were not uncommon sights on the front two rows of the grid but as a privateer this is the first time since 1999, and only the fourth time in the history of a team now entering it’s 20th F1 season, that a Sauber has been so highly placed at the start of a grand prix.

With Sergio Pérez qualifying eighth, the Swiss squad, currently fourth, is well placed to strengthen its position in the Constructors’ Championship. “We are obviously happy with this qualifying result,” added head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara. “It has been our goal for some time to put both cars into the top ten, which we finally managed to do. Almost everything went well apart from Sergio’s final run in which he complained about too much understeer. This is something we have to look into. Kamui did a fantastic job and his result is beyond our expectations. Taking into consideration Lewis Hamilton’s penalty, he will start third and, looking at our recent race performance, we can be very optimistic for tomorrow.”

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  • Mopar21277

    Mr. Excitement is going to win this race, hopefully he remains patient and doesn’t take out the front row in Turn 1. If that happens, Kimi will win. If he buys his time, he will go much longer in the 1st stint and will pull away, the car is that good in race trim.