The Sauber F1 Team, its C31 car and its drivers love exciting circuits. Kamui Kobayashi qualified fourth for his home race at the Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka and his team mate, Sergio Pérez, qualified sixth.
However, it is already clear for tomorrow’s grid both drivers will benefit from someone else’s penalty and move up one position.
Kamui Kobayashi (Qualifying: 4th in Q3): “I am happy because I think I achieved the maximum possible today. On my last lap I lost a bit of time because of the yellow flag when I backed off and switched off the DRS.
I want to thank the team for the big step forward they have managed with the car since Friday.
In the beginning we were struggling with the new parts but now we have got it right. After quite a few changes to the settings the car is fast again.
From where I am starting I should have a chance to fight for a podium finish, and it would be a dream come true if I could achieve my first podium in Formula One in front of my home crowd.
But first of all I have to manage a good start, and then I should have more luck than in Spa this year where I started from the front row but got involved in an accident.“
Sergio Pérez (Qualifying: 6th in Q3): “My last lap in Q3 wasn’t perfect but still good. I am very happy for the team that we have achieved such a strong qualifying result today.
They have done a great job because initially on Friday here we were really lacking pace. It was a strong and speedy recovery and I’m confident tomorrow in the race we will be able to fight for another podium.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO: “P4 and P6 in qualifying - this is a sensational result! We brought a new aero package to Suzuka, did a lot of work evaluating it yesterday and finally got the reward.
Great compliments to the team and, in particular, to the two drivers who both did a great job. Now our goal is to convert this qualifying result into a great race.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “After a very productive day yesterday we spent a lot of time analysing all the data over night, and things also went well today without any unexpected issues.
In free practice three we did some checks, which paid off, and in the end we got the result we expected. Great compliments to both drivers! Now we have to keep cool for the race.”
Source: Sauber F1 Team