Sauber: At some points it was not safe to stay on track

6 July, 2012

Jul.6 (Sauber Press Release) The first two free practice sessions ahead of the British Grand Prix at Silverstone were trouble free for the Sauber F1 Team. However, on a totally wet track there wasn’t too much the team was able to learn about the Sauber C31-Ferrari’s new parts. The C31 has some updates, mainly at the rear of the car, relating to the engine cover, bodywork around the exhaust, diffuser and brake ducts. Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez have been working on the car’s wet set-up, which might well be in demand on Saturday as well as Sunday.

Kamui Kobayashi: Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056):
1st practice: 7th / 1:58.483 min (19 laps) / 2nd practice: 2nd / 1:56.474 min (16 laps)
“In wet conditions our car is quite okay, but it is difficult if not impossible to guess how it would be on a dry track here. However, the conditions are the same for everybody, so we can’t complain about that. Obviously we couldn’t evaluate the new parts as we had planned. In the end I took a set of intermediate tyres, but only to get a feeling for them. It was definitely too wet for them. Generally the circuit tends to develop little rivers here and there, and even on the straights you have to be very careful not to lose the car by aquaplaning. It seems we will be having a wet weekend and this might not be the worst thing for us.”

Sergio Pérez: Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 02/Ferrari 056):
1st practice: 4th / 1:57.664 min (11 laps) / 2nd practice: 5th. / 1:57.593 min (13 laps)
“I found the day very boring. There wasn’t much we could do and it was impossible to complete our test programme. However, we did some running on the wet track and our car seems to be good in these conditions.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“This is not the Friday we were hoping for definitely from the weather side, although the forecast proved reliable! We had to adapt our programme a little bit. Nevertheless we decided to run because it looks like the weekend is going to be pretty unsettled, so it is good to prepare for qualifying and racing in these conditions. The cars were okay, with no major problems, and we are quite happy so far. The biggest challenge from now on is what the weather will do. For the weekend we have three sets of full wet tyres per car. We used one of those today, but the lack of running was not related to the tyres themselves as in these conditions they do not deteriorate. The biggest problem was at some points it was not safe to stay on the track because there was just too much water.”


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