After an outstanding qualifying performance ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix the race itself was disheartening for the Sauber F1 Team. Neither of the race strategies really worked out and both the Sauber C31-Ferraris got stuck in traffic for most of the race.
Kamui Kobayashi was on a three stopper and scored one championship point when he came in tenth. Sergio Pérez made two pit stops and came in 11th.
Kamui Kobayashi, 10th, Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056):
Start on soft tyres, after 9 laps change to medium tyres, after 25 laps change to soft, and after 38 change to medium.
“Of course after what we did in qualifying the race result is disappointing. I’m not really sure what happened at the start, my car just didn’t move, it was a bit strange and I lost positions immediately. Then I was stuck in traffic for most of the time, also we made the second pit stop a bit late and the tyres had gone. Quite often we have recovered in the race from a bad qualifying, but today it was the other way round. So we have proven we can be strong in both qualifying and race, and next time we will put this all together.”
Sergio Pérez, 11th, Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056):
Start on soft tyres, after 16 laps change to medium tyres, after 35 laps to medium.
“I must say I am very disappointed. I had a very good start, and for the entire first stint it really looked to be going very well for me. But then when I picked up the medium compound tyres I lost a lot of performance from lap 17 onwards. Actually I feel I would have been better off with a three stop strategy, but you never know. The pit stops as such were good, but at both I lost time at the launch because we had a problem with the clutch. However, this is racing and we will do better next time.“
Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO:
“We are obviously disappointed with this result. After our strong qualifying we expected more. However, we were not fast enough, and our strategy didn’t work out – both our drivers got stuck in traffic. For the fans it was a very exciting race with a lot of overtaking right up to the end, which shows how fierce the competition is. Congratulations to Nico Rosberg and Mercedes for a well deserved victory.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“This was definitely not the race we were expecting, hence we are disappointed. A number of factors didn’t go the way we wanted. First of all Kamui had a poor start, then his tyres wore out earlier than expected, and he had to pit earlier than planned. He then got stuck in traffic. Initially we had a three stop strategy for both cars, but then we didn’t want Sergio to have the same problem and we reverted him to two stops, which was still a good strategy. But then we lost time at the first pit stop with a clutch problem, this cost him two positions and, as the final point, we expected overtaking to be easier for our cars, which eventually didn’t happen. All these factors led to a disappointing result.”