The Sauber F1 Team completed pre-season testing with Kamui Kobayashi at the wheel of the Sauber C31-Ferrari at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Japanese driver had a rather complex programme today. Before lunch he did a qualifying exercise under slightly different conditions than those of his team mate Sergio Pérez yesterday, and in the afternoon Kamui was carrying out further set up work under race conditions before an engine problem stopped him on track 90 minutes before the end of the final test day. Nevertheless the Sauber F1 Team has drawn a positive conclusion from testing in Barcelona and feels ready and confident for the start of the season in Melbourne.
"My test programme for today had foreseen several longer breaks for changes to the car but of course not the early end because of the engine. These things happen, but I am still happy with our achievements. We did a lot of work to learn about the huge variety of set-up and aero options the new car offers. We made progress and of course there is still room for improvement. Personally I have not found the perfect set-up for me yet, at least not for Barcelona; Melbourne might be a different story anyway. I think performance wise we are looking fine and our simulation work for racing was really good. I feel confident, well and fit - and I think we could race tomorrow if we had to."
The summary of our pre-season testing is very positive
Giampaolo Dall’Ara Head of Track Engineering
“The summary of our pre-season testing is very positive. We experienced a bit of a difficult start in Jerez with a few reliability issues but step by step we improved in terms of mileage, set-up, understanding of the car and performance. Both drivers became happier with the car by the end of the day. As a team we also practiced procedures and strategies and it worked well. We were lucky with the weather and test conditions too – overall it was a really productive campaign and now it is time to race.”
What comes next:
The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, 16-18 March 2012
Circuit: Circuit de Catalunya / 4.655 km
Driver: Kamui Kobayashi (JAP)
Weather:Overcast, air 9-20°C, track 11-24°C
Chassis / engine: C31.02 / Ferrari 056
Mileage today: 72 laps
Fastest lap: 1:22,386 min (before lunch, supersoft tyres)