Sauber press release
Weather: dry, 28-26°C air, 41-28°C track
At the end of the first day of practice ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix the Sauber F1 Team drivers, Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez, were 10th and 11th respectively on the time sheet.
Kobayashi lost a lot of track time in the first free practice session due to a gearbox problem, which was fixed without a new gear box being needed. In the second session both drivers not only ran the Pirelli soft and medium tyre compounds, but also two sets of test tyres each. The second free practice session on the Yas Marina Circuit took place at the same time as the race will be run on Sunday – starting at 5pm in daylight and finishing after sunset with a full moon contributing to the great atmosphere.
“It is quite difficult to compare the two practice sessions, as the difference in track temperature is over ten degrees Celsius. This also means that in tomorrow’s third free practice session we can’t learn much for qualifying because again we will have this difference in track temperature. However, in general the track was quite slippery. We are pretty much okay at high speed, but we need to improve in slow corners and in terms of braking stability.”
“I’m confident for the weekend. We had a good day and completed our programme. Nevertheless it is difficult to know where we stand as we don’t know what the others were doing today. We learnt a lot and we will now continue to work on our qualifying performance for tomorrow. Then we will also try to improve the car’s balance for the long runs.”
It was not ideal to lose 50 minutes due to a gearbox problem on Kamui’s car
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“It was more or less a normal Friday. However, it was not ideal to lose 50 minutes due to a gearbox problem on Kamui’s car in the first session. Apart from that everything went okay. We put some extra focus on the single lap performance. Now we have to analyse all the data, discuss it with the drivers and make the right decisions for the remainder of the weekend. It will definitely be a tight battle for positions.”