The Sauber F1 Team had a very busy and productive first day of practice ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit the Catalunya near Barcelona. Both Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez tested various new components belonging to the Sauber C-30 Ferrari’s new aero package, and in the morning session Kobayashi had a further development stage of the exhaust as a test item on his car.
On top of all this testing and evaluation work, the usual race preparation had to be done, including a new harder tyre compound from Pirelli.
Sauber C30-Ferrari (Chassis 04 / Ferrari 056)
1st Practice: 17th / 1:28.819 min (23 laps) / 2nd Practice: 9th. / 1:24,290 min (33 laps)
“We have had a really interesting day. In the morning I was busy testing the exhaust, and evaluating the new aero parts. I didn’t put in a good lap time because I had to pit after a sensor gave us some wrong information. The new superhard compound gives you the feeling you are driving a totally different car. They are so slow. This is going to be tricky for everyone and might produce interesting tyre strategies in the race.“
Sauber C30-Ferrari (Chassis 03 / Ferrari 056)
1st Practice: 5th / 1:26.738 min (26 laps) / 2nd Practice: 11th. / 1:24,483 min (38 laps)
“It was a very positive day for us. We were learning a lot about our aero update and the new tyre compound. As it is quite slow compared to the soft compound, you will obviously want to use the soft ones as much as you can in the race. We have to analyse a lot of data now, and then we want to make sure we improve our qualifying performance tomorrow and get proper grid positions.“
James Key, Technichal Director: “It has been a busy day for the team with a lot of new parts on the car to evaluate and check, but it has been positive and the team has done a really good job. In FP1 we ran the new aero package on both cars, and Kamui ran the outboard exhaust, which was primarily for him a session of aero assesment. We have gathered more important and interesting data for the exhaust, but we are not quite sure yet if we are ready to run this. Otherwise the rest of the package is working pretty well. There have been no major issues, we see a general improvement in grip level and the drivers have been okay with the balance that they are feeling with all the new parts. We have also carried on with the mechanical updates we made in Turkey, taking them a little bit further here. As far as the new parts are concerned, generally it has been pretty positive. The pace looks okay, but clearly it is all so very close and we are not a hundred per cent with the total balance of the car in these track conditions. It is quite hot and at the moment we need to adapt the car a little bit for the conditions to get the balance better, particularly on new tyres. Now we have to work over night to make the most of tomorrow.“