Sauber baffled by lack of grip in qualifying

By on
F1 Grand Prix, GP United States, Circuit of The Americasus

The Sauber F1 Team’s qualifying performance in Austin, Texas, was clearly below expectations as both Sergio Pérez and Kamui Kobayashi had been quicker in the third free practice in the morning. The Mexican qualified 15th in front of a great crowd of fellow countrymen, while Kamui came 16th in the qualifying for the United States Grand Prix.

Sergio Pérez, Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056):
FP3: 8th (1:37.415 min / new medium tyres / 20 laps)
Q: 15th in Q2 (1:38.206 min / new medium tyres)
“We have lost a lot of performance compared to this morning’s practice session and at the moment we don’t really know why. The track temperature increased a lot, but for me the tyre warm up still wasn’t any better. My car tended to oversteer quite a lot in qualifying. Perhaps we did not follow the way the track conditions developed in the right direction. I want to thank all the people in the grandstands and especially all the Mexicans, who sacrificed time and money to travel to Austin and bought tickets. In my country you always go with your entire family and I know this is not easy to do because it is an expensive trip. I wish I could have done better today, but I will do my very best to give all these people a good race tomorrow. For sure I will fight for points however difficult this might be.”

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056):
FP3: 14th (1:37.953 min / new medium tyres / 23 laps)
Q: 16th in Q2 (1:38.437 min / new medium tyres)
“Without doubt the result is disappointing for us because after free practice we were expecting a better qualifying. I found the warm up of the tyres easier this afternoon, but still I could not find the peak performance for the tyres. I just don’t know yet why this was. Tomorrow in the race it should be less of a problem to get the tyres to work, but obviously our grid positions will make it difficult to put in a good result.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal:
“This qualifying result is a big disappointment for the whole team. We don’t really understand what happened, because we couldn’t match our lap times from free practice three. It’s up to the engineers now to turn this round in the race.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“After free practice three we expected a lot more. We didn’t make any major changes to the set-up of the cars, and we approached qualifying with quite a lot of confidence. However, both drivers reported a lack of grip. We gave them a higher number of laps to cope with the warm-up issues we had during the weekend, but it didn’t produce the result we expected. We just didn’t find the same level of grip and balance as we did in the morning. We will have to analyse the data very carefully to understand what went wrong. Certainly the race will be another story, but our grid positions are a clear disadvantage.”




Recent news