Peter Sauber hailed the European Grand Prix a “fantastic” race his drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Pedro de la Rosa recorded a welcome double finish and points score for the struggling team.
“The team and the drivers did everything right today,” beamed Sauber. “Pedro delivered a very solid performance and scored one point, and Kamui was absolutely amazing. The lap times which he put in while he was in third were stunning. They prove how much potential there is in this car. Congratulations to the whole team and the drivers!”
Kobayashi showed superb ability an pace to remain in third place, having not pitted during the safety car period, running all by the last handful of laps on the same set of tyres, staying ahead of reigning champion Jenson Button. Finally Kobayashi did pit, mounting a final laps charge to pass Fernando Alonso and Sebastien Buemi, putting his new tyres to the best use.
“Before the race we had decided to use separate tyre strategies for Pedro and me. I started on the harder ones and didn't pit when everybody else did,” explained Kamui. “It was great racing there at the front, but it was not easy either because I had Jenson Button close behind me all the time, and also I had to look after my tyres. I was careful not to overdrive them.”
“After my pit stop I had only four laps to make use of my fresh tyres. At this moment I had better grip than anybody else, and I felt I had to make the most out of it. Of course it was a risk to overtake Alonso and Buemi. If it hadn't worked out and I had crashed I would have been in trouble.”
“It was a great race from the team. The strategy paid off and the car was really good under race conditions. For most of the race I was stuck in traffic,” said de la Rosa. “The last 12 laps were very difficult for me because I had a big flat spot on my front right tyre, and the vibrations in the car were quite bad. I didn't say this over the radio to the team, as I wanted to save them from bad news during the race because we have had enough of that. I am very, very happy for the entire team that we scored these points today. It is a great team and they deserve to be happy.“
Unfortanately for the team de la Rosa's tenth place at the checkered flag was taken away, the Spaniard being dropped to 12th by a five second penalty applied post race for exceeding the lap time constraints placed on cars under safety car conditions.