BMW Sauber struggle with changes to circuit layout


BMW Sauber have said that neither driver is entirely happy with the set-up of the new C29 after Friday practice in Bahrain.

Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi finished tenth and eleventh fastest in the afternoon session, but cited the new infield section of the Sakhir circuit as the cause of their set-up problems.

The Spaniard de la Rosa emphasised the need for improvements in the car’s handling, and didn’t hold back on his criticism of the changes to the circuit. ““Well, it was not easy. We managed to make the car feel better during the day, but wedefinitely need to improve the set-up for tomorrow as much as we can. The overall grip level is very low out there and the new part is really bumpy. One bump especiallybefore turn seven I find dangerous because the cars are bottoming there a lot. The heat is no issue at all. I don't regard this circuit as physically very demanding anyway.”

Kobayashi took a more diplomatic stance than his teammate regarding the track, and revealed that a puncture in the first session was his reason for only completing 11 laps in the morning. “After we lost some track time this morning because of a puncture, we were able tocomplete our programme in the afternoon. We now have to look at the set-up again. Ihave the impression the bumpy new infield is pretty difficult for us, but we will work on that. I have no complaints about the heat either, as I definitely prefer it compared to the winter in Europe.”

Technical director Willy Rampf suggested that BMW haven’t shown their true pace yet this weekend, and was pleased that the cars had run reliably. “We mainly concentrated on race preparation today, so consequently we were runningon a high fuel load for most of the time. We want to be sure to find a set-up which is acceptable for the race distance. We will work on the qualifying set-up tomorrow. It'sthe first time this year we are running in climate conditions like this, so we still have a lot of work to do. Kamui suffered a puncture, which was caused by a piece of debris, but apart from that the cars ran reliably.”