The Sauber F1 Team did not have an ideal start to the weekend of the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang, but is working in the right direction. After neither Kamui Kobayashi nor Sergio Pérez had been happy with the balance of the Sauber C31-Ferrari in the first free practice, the crew used the break for quite a few set-up changes.
In the second session the balance improved, but Kamui missed a lot of time because of a gear box problem. Overall there is still a bit of work to do to get back into the same shape that brought the team sixth and eighth at the Australian Grand Prix last week.
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056)
1st Practice: 14th / 1:39.910 min (21 laps) / 2nd Practice: 14th / 1:39.687 min (16 laps)
“It was the first time we have used the 2012 tyres in such high temperatures and the degradation is quite significant. Probably this had an impact as well, but in any case we struggled with the balance of the car quite a lot today. We will have to improve for qualifying and the race, but I’m sure we can do that. It was a shame that I lost so much track time in the second session because of the gear box problem, but these things happen.”
Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
1st Practice: 20th / 1:41.085 min (23 laps) / 2nd Practice: 18th / 1:40.947 min (33 laps)
“It was a difficult day in terms of setting up the car and getting the balance right. It was better on long runs than on single laps. We managed to achieve some improvements for the second free practice and now we will be looking carefully at the data tonight.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “This was obviously not an ideal start to the weekend. We have some work ahead of us to get the car’s balance right here. The reliability issue on Kamui’s car didn’t help, but we will keep working hard and do better tomorrow.”