Qualifying turned out to be a missed opportunity for the Sauber F1 Team. Just in time for the first qualifying session ahead of the British Grand Prix it started to rain again at Silverstone. The changing weather conditions caught out both drivers. Kamui will start from 12th, Sergio from 17th.
The conditions at the start of Q1 called for intermediate tyres. Then the track started drying out, but a run on dry tyres proved to be too optimistic. Sergio Pérez and Kamui Kobayashi finished the session fourth and seventh respectively. The rain became heavier in the run up to Q2, and so both Sauber C31-Ferraris went out with rain tyres. At 13:35 the session was red flagged with just over six minutes left as the rain was getting worse. At this point Sergio was leading and Kamui was sixth. For the restart of Q2 at 15:07 the team took a risky decision – both drivers left the garage on intermediates. In the end Sergio’s lap time was only good enough for 17th. Kamui pitted for rain tyres, but ended up 12th, and therefore also dropped out of the top ten. On top of that the Japanese has a five place grid penalty from the last race in Valencia.
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056):
FP3: 9th (1.33.046 min / soft tyres / 20 laps)
Q: 12th in Q2 (1:57.071 min / rain tyres)
“We started on intermediate tyres after the break and this proved to be the wrong decision. I pitted and changed to rain tyres, but then I only had time for one flying lap and in the difficult conditions this wasn’t enough to improve as much as I needed to make it into Q3. Before that we had a very good chance of fighting for a top position. Our pace was really good in the wet. It is a missed opportunity. For tomorrow’s race I don’t really care whether it’s wet or dry. I’ll be starting a long way down the grid and will fight as hard as I can.”
Sergio Pérez, Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 02/Ferrari 056):
FP3: 8th (1:32.940 min / hard tyres / 19 laps)
Q: 17th in Q2 (1:57.895 min / intermediate tyres)
“We made the wrong decision when we went for intermediates instead of rain tyres after the break, but I also had traffic. I was driving behind Daniel Ricciardo and could hardly see anything. It is such a shame because we clearly had the pace to fight for a top position here. However, we made a mistake and now have to try hard to recover from that in the race.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“In the end clearly we made the wrong call. It was a good session up to then. As we had stopped for so long we were expecting the track to be in a better condition. We made a call for intermediates, which we thought would be okay, but it was the wrong call. We definitely had the car to be at the front today and the drivers were also doing a very good job.”
Weather: Dry in the morning, wet in the afternoon, 15-16°C air, 17-19°C track