Sauber: One happy driver and one unhappy driver

Jun.23 (Sauber Press Release) In the heat of the Valencia street circuit Sauber F1 Team driver Kamui Kobayashi made it into the top ten qualifying for the third time this season. The Japanese qualified seventh for the European Grand Prix. His team mate, Sergio Pérez, wasn’t particularly happy with the balance of his Sauber C31-Ferrari today. He qualified 15th but has high hopes for tomorrow’s race.

Kamui Kobayashi:
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056)
Qualifying: 7th (1:38.741 min in Q3 / new soft tyres)
3rd Practice: 11th (1.39.358 min / soft tyres / 19 laps)
“I’m happy with the car and with the result – the team did a very good job. The lap times are so close. If you make the smallest mistake anywhere you end up nowhere. My lap was okay and I think perhaps the absolute maximum I could have squeezed out was another tenth, but no more. It definitely was worth giving everything in Q3 as we managed to put three cars behind us. We have tried to adapt to the high temperatures here and did a good job on that. One of our targets was to improve in qualifying and we have achieved that today. Now we have to keep the momentum and the performance for the race and I’m pretty confident we can do that.”

Sergio Pérez:
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 02/Ferrari 056)
Qualifying: 15th (1:39.358 min in Q2 / new soft tyres)
3rd Practice: 6th (1.39.084 min / soft tyres / 20 laps)
“Of course I am disappointed with the qualifying, but I have every reason to be confident as we made some changes to the car for the race which didn’t help us this afternoon. I believe they will pay off on the longer run. For me the car’s balance wasn’t good in qualifying, and the car felt a bit unpredictable. For the race I hope we can go at a consistent pace with a good strategy. We have to go for a rather aggressive approach and we have proven we can manage that.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“As expected, the performance level was again very close between the cars. For us the work done overnight paid off. We were closer today than yesterday. Our goal for qualifying was to reach the top ten. We knew this would be very difficult. In the end, Sergio didn’t get it right, had some difficulties making it into Q2 and didn’t make it to Q3. Starting 15th will obviously not be easy for the race. Kamui did a good lap on medium tyres in Q1, which allowed us to save a set of soft tyres and make best use of them in Q2, where the track was maybe faster in the beginning. This boosted our chances of making it into Q3, so then we took an aggressive approach and waited for the last moment. Kamui then did a good lap. Seventh reflects quite well where we are at the moment and is a good position for the race tomorrow.”