F1

Sauber Spanish GP - Catalunya race report

Sauber F1 Team

Spanish GP – Race – Sunday, 13.05.2012
Weather: sunny and dry, 22-23°C air, 31-34°C track

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber on the drivers parade
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber on the drivers parade

Photo by: xpb.cc

The Sauber F1 Team has got ten more points to its tally thanks to Kamui Kobayashi finishing fifth at the Spanish Grand Prix. The Japanese had to start ninth after an hydraulic problem yesterday prevented him from driving in Q3. He showed a great race performance and exciting overtaking manoeuvres at the Circuit de Catalunya. His team mate, Sergio Pérez, who was fifth on the grid, retired from the race due to a transmission problem. The performance of the Sauber C31 proved that the development package was a significant step forward.

Kamui Kobayashi: 5th
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
Start on new soft tyres, after 8 laps change to new hard tyres, after 26 laps new hard tyres and after 41 used hard tyres

“The team did a really great job, and the update on our car works very well. The pace in the race was a big improvement compared to the last race. I absolutely believe I could have made it onto the podium today if I had not been so unlucky in qualifying yesterday. If you start ninth you can be happy finishing fifth, but the car had more potential. I was in traffic and overtaking was not easy. I could not do it on the straights with the help of the DRS because there I wasn’t close enough. So I had to take some risks and do it in the corners. I damaged my tyres quite a lot in the last stint. The competition is really tight at the moment. If you want to get in front of the pack you have to get everything right on the weekend. This is what Pastor (Maldonado) did. The last time I came fifth was last year in Monaco, and I am very much looking forward to returning to the Principality soon.“

Sergio Pérez: DNF, transmission problem (lap 38)
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056)
Start on used soft tyres, after 1 lap change to bew hard tyres, after 17 new hard tyres and after 37 laps to used hard tyres

“We have been very unlucky at the start. In turn one I managed to get passed Romain (Grosjean), but then he hit me and I had to pit after lap one. We could not really recover from the back of the field, and later I had to retire because of a transmission problem. Whatever it was, it is over and I will be focusing on the next race. Monaco is a very special Grand Prix for me.”

Peter Sauber, Team Principal:

“First of all congratulations to Pastor Maldonado for a fantastic race and his victory. Concerning our own team, I have mixed feelings because Sergio couldn’t benefit from his very good grid position. Kamui drove a fantastic race. He lost quite a lot of time in traffic, but was then able to overtake Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg with two great attacks. He scored ten important points. But this race also showed that our development package works as planned, also on a difficult track like this one. This makes me optimistic for the next races. Thanks to the whole team, and also everyone in the factory, for making this happen.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:

“Sergio basically lost his race on lap one due to a racing incident which forced him to pit immediately. We then tried to do a two stop strategy using hard tyres, but then he had to stop because of a transmission problem which we need to analyse. Kamui was on a three stop strategy. As he was held up by Jenson Button we brought him in early for the first stop, but we lost some time there because the front left wheel wouldn’t come off. We also did the same for the third stop, however, Kamui was still behind. It was a long final stint, and it was up to him to decide how to make best use of the tyres. He was then able to overtake Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg. He really drove an outstanding race.”

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Series F1
Tags barcelona, dall’ara, kobayashi, perez, sauber

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