Sauber drivers continue to impress

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F1 Grand Prix, GP China, Shanghai International Ciruitcn

Today both Sauber F1 Team drivers qualified better than ever before in their Formula One careers: Kamui Kobayashi came fourth in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix, while Sergio Pérez was eighth. The team now have a clear sight of a big points haul during the race.

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056):
Qualifying: 4th (1:35.784 min in Q3 / new soft tyres)
3rd Practice: 8th (1.36.880 min / new soft tyres / 17 laps) “I am very happy, the team did a great job. For quite a while we have kept saying we need to improve our qualifying performance, and I think this was a clear improvement today. Apparently I will be starting from third position tomorrow because Lewis Hamilton had to change his gearbox. This grid position obviously means a lot of chances. However, I am not a dreamer and the target remains the same: score as many points as you can. We have a strong car, normally it is also good on tyres and I am looking forward to the race full of confidence.”

Sergio Pérez, Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056):
Qualifying: 8th (1:36.524 min in Q3 / new soft tyres)
3rd Practice: 7th (1.36.781 min / new soft tyres / 19 laps) “It is obviously a good qualifying result for our team. Personally I must admit I even hoped for more than P8. After the previous runs had been very promising, on the final lap in Q3, when I was on a fresh set of soft tyres, I suddenly had understeer. I don’t know where this came from. In any case it will be a tough race tomorrow and I will give it my best.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO:
“What a fantastic performance from both of our drivers! This has been the best qualifying result for a long time and a great achievement for the whole team. Finally we are in a position after qualifying to exploit the full potential of the Sauber C31-Ferrari in the race, as we can start from much better positions than in previous races. Congratulations to the whole team!”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“We are obviously happy with this qualifying result. It has been our goal for some time to put both cars into the top ten, which we finally managed to do. Almost everything went well apart from Sergio’s final run in which he complained about too much untersteer. This is something we have to look into. Kamui did a fantastic job and his result is beyond our expectations. Taking into consideration Lewis Hamilton’s penalty, he will start third and, looking at our recent race performance, we can be very optimistic for tomorrow.”