Malaysian GP - Qualifying
For the second consecutive race the Sauber F1 Team managed to get into the final qualifying session: like in the Australian Grand Prix, it was Kamui Kobayashi who made it into the top ten. However, improving further wasn’t possible, as the Japanese driver qualified tenth in his Sauber C30-Ferrari for the Malaysian Grand Prix. His rookie team mate, Sergio Pérez, struggled a bit on his second run in Q2 and finished today’s qualifying 16th.
- Weather: hot and humid, dry track, 28-30°C air, 36-41°C track
“I’m quite happy with today’s qualifying. Of course I was hoping to improve a bit on my very last run, especially as, unlike in Melbourne, I had a set of new soft tyres left. But I think there wasn’t more to get out of the car today. Nevertheless the team had done a very good job improving it after some problems yesterday. We found some things overnight, in free practice this morning we still struggled a bit, but then we knew what to do. It was here in Sepang last year where I reached Q3 for the first time in my F1 career. The race will be very interesting, especially in terms of tyre degradation in the heat. I am certainly aiming for points.“
“I am a bit disappointed because we had the potential for Q3 if I had got my final lap right. On my second run in Q2 I was caught in traffic on my out lap. On the flying lap sectors one and two were fine, but in sector three I had no front grip and the car was understeering a lot. Now I hope we have a good race strategy as I’m still aiming for points which, of course, is not easy from where I am starting. It will be a demanding race, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO:
“Kamui did an excellent job. Sergio, like Kamui, looked good in Q2 but he just lost it on the last sector, so he could have been further up. We are happy Kamui did a great performance, and now we have to make sure Sergio gets the most out of the race the way he did in Australia.”
James Key, Technical Director:
I don’t think we could have gone too much further up the top ten
“We went to FP3 with some changes on both cars after some of the balance difficulties we had yesterday. The problem yesterday was we didn’t get the soft tyres to work for us, but today it was different and both drivers were happier with the balance on this tyre. We just did a single run in Q1, which was enough.
In Q2 Kamui had a new and a used set of tyres and Sergio had two new sets. It was a great shame for Sergio as his lap time was looking quite reasonable, but unfortunately he lost three to four tenths in the last sector. Certainly he could have been a lot closer to the top ten, but we know he is a good racer as he showed last race he can recover from that. Kamui did a great lap to get through to Q3 and then we just did a single run, which is always a little bit risky on a new tyre. I don’t think we could have gone too much further up the top ten, but maybe a bit more. We certainly can’t complain as it was a very good qualifying session again for Kamui.”