Malaysian GP - Race
The Sauber F1 Team has scored its first points of 2011: Kamui Kobayashi finished eighth in the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang and earned four championship points. The Japanese improved from tenth on the grid thanks to a two stop tyre strategy. His first two sets were the soft compound, and so he finished the race on the harder rubber. Team mate, Sergio Pérez, didn’t make it to his second pit stop. His Sauber C30-Ferrari was hit when something fell off another car, and this caused him to retire.
Weather: hot and humid with a dry track, 28°C air, 29-31°C track
“I had a good car, the team did a great job, and I’m particularly happy we were able to score our first points here. The strategy with only two stops was a little bit risky, but I think it worked out quite well. The difficulty about unusual strategies is in the race you find yourself always on a different pace to the competition. I had some nice and fair battles with Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher, which I enjoyed.”
“Something came off Sébastien Buemi’s car, which was just in front of me, and hit the floor of my car. The fire extinguisher went off and the electrics cut out. It was a shame I couldn’t finish the race as the car felt good. However, we could have pitted a bit earlier for fresh tyres, but we thought we were going to have some heavy rain.“
Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO:
“It has been a very good weekend for the team, and that is all the more important because of what we experienced in the first race of the season. It showed the car we have has a lot of potential to be competitive. The drivers did excellent jobs again, and Sergio was doing a really good race until he had the incident. Kamui, of course, drove a great race and managed to do it with just two stops. We are very happy and we hope we can keep this up.”
James Key, Technical Director: “A potentially eventful race turned into more of a normal race, because we didn’t see the rain that threatened. We decided we would target two stops because we felt we could get away with that. It was very close to three stops in terms of race time, but we felt it allowed us the opportunity to hold our position at the end of the race. Both drivers made reasonable starts.
We are happy to get some points after what happened in Melbourne
Unfortunately for Sergio, who was driving extremely well, he had an issue with his car suddenly losing power and he reported he ran over some debris. That is when the power stopped so we have to look to see if there is any damage to the car. It is a shame for him as he was in a reasonable position and, with his strategy, could have perhaps picked up a few places. Kamui’s strategy worked fine. He knew he had to conserve the tyres, so the lap times were not the quickest because we had to do long stints for a two stopper, but the result was excellent for us. We are happy to get some points after what happened in Melbourne and, if you like, this is where it starts for us.“