What looked like a promising Belgian Grand Prix on the challenging Spa-Francorchamps circuit for the Sauber F1 Team turned into a disappointing one, with both Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez involved in a first corner incident that was neither of their faults. While the Mexican retired immediately, the Japanese was able to carry on, although with a damaged Sauber C-31 Ferrari that meant the highest he could finish was 13th.
Kamui Kobayashi: 13th - Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056) “This is a terrible race result after we had been doing so well in qualifying. There was nothing I could do when a car came flying into mine after the start. I had to pit once for some repairs and then again after seven laps because of a slow puncture.
During the race I didn’t really know how bad the damage to the car was, but I could see a tyre print on the cockpit all the time. Later in parc fermé I understood why I was so slow, as the side pod and some other bodywork had gone. Apparently before the start my car drew a lot of attention because of the smoke.
The brakes were too hot, but I was still able to finish the race with them. I don’t know why I then also had more wheel spin than expected, so we are looking into that as well.“
Sergio Pérez: DNF - Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056): “I am very disappointed for myself and the team as it was such a good opportunity for us to fight for a victory today. Pastor Maldonado had a jump start frist of all. I went on the inside of Fernando Alonso. I was going into turn one, braking and then suddenly the cars came from behind and hit me and it was a big mess. I am now looking forward to the next race in Monza.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO: “It is very disappointing that once again factors beyond our control have ruined another race of ours. We have to take the positive out of this weekend that if we don’t make mistakes and get the right qualifying we can be right in front, and that has to be our target again for the next race.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “We lost the chance of a good result with both cars at the start because Checo had to stop and Kamui’s car was damaged. On top of this we had to pit him at the end of lap seven because he had a puncture from the same debris. That was it. We lost pace, we lost a good strategy, we lost position we even lost the chance of recovery with the safety car because of the additional pit stop.”
Source: Sauber F1 Team