After starting the race from 15th and 16th respectively, Sergio Pérez and Kamui Kobayashi took the chequered flag at the inaugural Grand Prix of the United States in Austin in 11th and 14th. Despite this positive performance in the race, the team's performance was insufficient for points at the US GP.
Both started on the medium compound tyres and only stopped once. After a fantastic start and strong early laps Sergio lost performance due to a brake problem. Kamui pitted early, at the end of lap 13, to change to hard tyres and couldn’t find grip with either of the compounds.
Sergio Pérez, 11th, Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056):
Start on new medium tyres, after 22 laps change to new hard tyres
“My start worked really well and the first laps were good too. I had a good pace, and the car was really quick, but then around lap ten I had a problem with the brakes. The pedal became very long and I had big difficulties before every corner. This cost a lot of time and so we didn’t manage to get any points here. Regardless of the result it was a great experience to race here in front of so many Mexicans. The COTA is a great track and I hope we can have this Grand Prix on the calendar for many years. Now we will get ourselves together for the final attempt to improve to fifth place in the Constructors’ World Championship next week.“
Kamui Kobayashi, 14th, Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056):
Start on new medium tyres, after 13 laps change to new hard tyres
“For the entire weekend here I had warm up problems and didn’t get the tyres to work. We have to find out why this was. The grip level only increased in the last laps of the race at the end of a very long stint with the hard tyres. This was crazy and I do hope very much we are stronger in Sao Paulo to finish the season on a high.“
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal:
“For our team it was a weekend with ups and downs, which was also reflected in the race. Sergio made a very good start and was 11th after lap one, with a chance to fight for points, but later he reported a brake problem and, as a result, lost positions. Kamui was never able to recover from his grid position. We have not given up the fight for P5 in the constructors’ championship, but we will have a lot of pressure in Interlagos. However, we are taking this as an extra motivation. Congratulations to the people responsible at the COTA for building a great track and organising a great event for the many fans who were present today.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“This was a fairly difficult weekend for us. For some reason we were not able to exploit the potential which was there. Our main problem was to get the tyres to work, which was reflected in our qualifying performance. With Kamui we opted for an early pit stop, but we didn’t benefit from that. Sergio had a very good first lap and therefore we went for a more standard strategy, but then he reported a long brake pedal. We spotted a problem, but we were confident on the safety side, because the travel soon stabilised. However, on the performance side we had to pay the price, particularly around the pit stop where we lost two positions to the Williams. We couldn’t regain these positions.”