A top ten finish with at least one car in every Grand Prix of the season has been the reward for the Sauber F1 Team. Kamui Kobayashi has achieved this seven times in seven races. Sergio Pérez, who had to sit out the last two GPs, has crossed the line twice as a top ten finisher in his Sauber C30-Ferrari.
Getting the tyres to last well and clever strategies have been identified as strengths. But when it comes to making the tyres work for a fast qualifying lap there is still potential for improvement. The team will work on that during the weekend of the European Grand Prix, which will be held from 24th to 26th June on the challenging Valencia street circuit in Spain.
Kamui Kobayashi (car number 16): “Last year we had a good race performance and strategy in Valencia. I enjoyed the race a lot, especially the last few laps when I had fresh tyres and the others didn’t. After qualifying had been disappointing because I was only 18th, we were very happy when I finished seventh in the race. This year we have a better car overall, and we have proved we are still good in terms of our strategies. I’m quite confident for the European Grand Prix and want to make the most of it. You have four straights on which you need to be quick, but you also have slow corners and need to ride the kerbs in some places. This makes quite a challenging mixture, plus the track temperatures can be expected to be really high, which means you have to take special care of your tyres. The part around the bridge is the most tricky one, as you can gain or lose a lot of lap time there. In the past it hasn’t been easy to overtake on this street circuit, but I think with DRS and KERS it will be an exciting race for the spectators and us. I also like the atmosphere there a lot, and Valencia is one of the more exciting places we go to. There is a lot going on in the city and you can find good food there.”
Sergio Pérez (car number 17): ”I flew home from Montreal, and back in Mexico I spent the time preparing myself for the next race and trained together with our physiotherapist. I feel perfectly well and I’m very much looking forward to racing in Valencia. Without doubt it is an advantage that I know this track well. In 2009 I was on the podium after both GP2 races and last year I had pole position.”
James Key, Technical Director: “Valencia is a smooth stop and start street circuit. It’s not so bad for mechanical grip, as the surface is quite flat. The emphasis will mainly be on braking stability in low speed corners and traction. There will be an unknown in Valencia, because we will have a new Pirelli medium tyre compound which we ran in Canada. However, that was on a different track and most probably different track conditions with regard to temperature. This is a tyre which we’ll have to understand and get working quite quickly on Friday in preparation for the rest of the weekend. We will have some modifications on the car, including a slightly changed front wing and some other parts. We hope our performance will be back on the level we had before Canada, where we felt we didn’t perform as we wanted to in dry conditions. Also in the meantime we’ve been working hard on the balance of the car to try to ensure we can have a better level of performance in Valencia. We hope to have Sergio back in the car and look forward to working with him during the weekend.”