Fired up by its own good performances from the first two rounds of the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship and refreshed after a little break, the Sauber F1 Team is heading for the next back-to-back race meetings. On 15th April the UBS Chinese Grand Prix will get underway, while the race in Bahrain is on the programme for the 22nd April.
After two of the 20 rounds the Swiss team has 30 championship points to its tally and currently ranks fourth in the constructors’ championship. Kamui Kobayashi, who came sixth in Australia, has overcome his disappointment after his retirement in Malaysia and is ready to attack again. Sergio Pérez has been feted in his home country of Mexico after his second place finish in Sepang.
Kamui Kobayashi (car number 14): “I always have a good feeling for this Grand Prix. I really like the circuit near Shanghai because I enjoy its high speed corners very much, and as well as that they should suit our car. Last year the race was great fun and I scored a point after having started 13th. The track temperatures might be lower than recently in Malaysia, as I expect them to be more like they were in Melbourne, and this also should be better for us and the tyres, but we have to see how it is once we are there. In any case I will go there with a positive approach and after the small break it will be interesting to see who brings what updates for the cars. Personally I have been using the days off for some extra training sessions with our physiotherapist, Joseph Leberer, in Japan.”
Sergio Pérez (car number 15): “I am very much looking forward to the Chinese Grand Prix. I enjoyed the short break after the race in Malaysia, although, especially in the beginning, it was a busy time back in Mexico. The reception in Guadalajara was absolutely great and I really loved seeing my family and friends at home. However, I’m very much focused on thinking about further improvements and continued with my training programme. We all have to keep our heads down and work hard. Our car can be competitive and we have to make the most of it. Last year initially I had a good race in Shanghai, but then I had contact with some other cars towards the end of the Grand Prix and was penalised. The high speed corners of the track should suit our car. I especially like turn one - it is a long and pretty difficult bend. The long straight will not be the easiest part for us, but, again, we have to maximise our potential.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “The Shanghai International Circuit is a very demanding track. Its peculiarities are several sections with a combination of braking and lateral forces as well as traction and lateral forces. This puts some demands on the car with regards to braking stability and overall balance. The straights are also quite relevant for lap times, especially the very long one where you need speed in qualifying as well as for overtaking in the race. We are being allocated the soft and the medium tyre compounds. Normally the durability is not an issue but, as the track is not often used, there can be graining and high wear levels at the beginning of the weekend. We had some difficulties with tyre degradation in hot conditions in Malaysia, however, this should be less of an issue in Shanghai, because the tarmac is smooth and overall there are fewer high speed corners with high lateral forces. What can be a challenge is the weather. In April there is always quite a high possibility of rain, which is not as dramatic as in Malaysia, but still is something we have to bear in mind when planning the weekend. The car will have some minor modifications compared to the one we ran in Malaysia. I’m confident we can be very competitive in the race.”