Sauber: Good result is better than expected

27 August, 2011

Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday 27 August 2011. Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

Aug.27 (Sauber) The Sauber F1 Team battled with the ever changing Spa-Francorchamps weather conditions ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix, and won by getting one of its drivers into Q3 for the sixth time this year. For Sergio Pérez ninth is his best qualifying result for the team, and his third appearance in the top ten. Kamui Kobayashi just missed out and ended up 12th in his Sauber C30-Ferrari.

Sergio Pérez: Sauber C30-Ferrari (Chassis 02 / Ferrari 056)
Qualifying: 9th/1.51.374 min (in Q3, soft tyres)
3rd Practice: 17th/2:14.334 min (intermediate tyres)
“I’m happy. It was a very difficult but good qualifying for the team. We have put ourselves in a good position to score points tomorrow. In Q3, when I was on dry tyres for the first time in today’s qualifying and obviously using the soft compound, the track was drying quickly with the conditions improving every single lap. In Q1 and Q2 especially it wasn’t easy with the car being set up for the dry conditions that are expected tomorrow. I’m glad it all worked out today. I was in Q3 for the third time and I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do from what is my best grid position so far in Formula One.“

Kamui Kobayashi: Sauber C30-Ferrari (Chassis 01 / Ferrari 056)
Qualifying: 12th/2.04.757 min (in Q2, intermediate tyres)
3rd Practice: 14th/2:13.182 min (intermediate tyres)
“Of course it is a shame I missed Q3 by a small margin, but overall it was a good qualifying performance from us today. Because of our timing at the end of Q2, when we were running intermediate tyres on the drying track, I took the chequered flag a little bit earlier than the others. This meant with the rapidly improving track conditions my time then just wasn’t good enough for Q3, but, given the fact we were running a dry set-up with very little rear wing, it went really well today. The forecast predicts dry conditions for tomorrow, and I hope that is correct because in Spa you can never be sure about it.”

Peter Sauber, Team Principal:
“I’m happy and satisfied. Because of the weather forecast for Sunday we have been putting our money on dry race conditions, and we knew this would make it very difficult for us to attack in a wet qualifying. The result is good and also better than expected.”

James Key, Technical Director:
“Again it was a very unpredictable day with the weather conditions. This morning was pretty tricky and we struggled a bit in the wet conditions, but then we did a bit of work on the car before qualifying. The qualifying conditions were slightly better, and so we got a little bit more out of the car as the track improved. It was a good call by Sergio to get the car into Q3, and the approach was to try and get him out as quickly as possible at the end of Q2. With Kamui we took the opposite approach and stayed in the garage longer, but he was still very close to Q3. I think today was just a matter of who was the last man on the track in the best conditions. We can’t complain about P9 as we took a bit of a gamble with our car’s set up for qualifying. Tomorrow is the important bit and that is what we have to look at now.”


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