Sauber press release
Weather: showers, drying track, 19-21°C air, 18-21°C track
In changing weather conditions the Sauber F1 Team enjoyed a smooth first day of free practice at the start of the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship. After some heavy showers the track was drying out during both sessions at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne. Both Sauber C31-Ferraris were reliable and, despite the tricky track conditions and a few breathtaking drifts, the drivers, Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez, were quite happy with their first day of the Australian Grand Prix.
"I am pretty happy, and I think overall the day went smoothly for us. We used intermediate and rain tyres as well as the medium compound of the slicks. Because of the changing track conditions, it was obviously not easy to learn much from today, so now we have to decide what to do and think carefully about the next steps for tomorrow."
"We made a good improvement from the first to the second session, but it is extremely difficult to deal with today's information as the conditions were not at all consistent. The third free practice tomorrow will be very important. We have to watch how the conditions develop and then really get everything right for qualifying."
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
"After all the speculation in recent weeks it was good to drive the first two practice sessions of the 2012 season. The target today was to prepare for the race. However, due to the changing weather conditions this was quite difficult. The positive aspect of this situation was we were able to run tyres which we didn't run in testing - the intermediate and the rain tyres.
There were no reliability issues on the car
This might not help for the race, because the forecast predicts dry weather. Nevertheless it was good to gather some data with these tyres. We had to wait for the right moments to have some dry conditions. However, on the mainly wet track it was not possible to learn a lot about tyre degradation, so it was good that Kamui was driving in race set-up at the end of free practice one. Also positive to mention is the fact there were no reliability issues on the car, so we are really looking forward to the remainder of the weekend."