Sauber had another disappointing race in Canada today, with Kamui Kobayashi succumbing to a first lap crash, and Pedro de la Rosa retiring before reaching half distance with an engine failure.
“To be left empty handed certainly is deeply disappointing,” said de la Rosa, who retired on Lap 31 but had had an incident-packed race up to that point. “On the first lap of the race Vitaly Petrov spun in front of me on the straight, and hit my car when he came back from the grass. The front wing was broken and I pitted for a new nose. Also the rear wing had some damage, but it wasn't too bad.
“I then continued and the car was quite good. We anticipated my pit stop because suddenly the rear tyres went. After this pit stop it seemed all okay but then on lap 31 I felt a sudden loss of top speed on the straight and knew immediately it was a serious problem.”
Kamui Kobayashi’s race ended in the so-called ‘wall of champions’. “This should not have happened,” said the Japanese driver, who was experiencing Montreal for the first time. “I had made a very good start from 18th and on the first lap was fighting with Nico HÃ¼lkenberg down the back straight for ninth. In front of us was Michael Schumacher, apparently having some troubles with braking before the chicane.
“All three of us were braking late and then I suddenly had nowhere to go. I hit the kerb, the car jumped and I had damaged it so badly that I had to stop.”
Team principal Peter Sauber knows that the team missed an opportunity to score some points this weekend, on a track with a high probability of safety cars and low tyre durability: “As is often the case in Canada, it was easy to score championship points today, however, we didn't collect them. We lost one car which was in tenth at the end of lap one through an over optimistic move, and the second one through an engine failure.”
Technical director James Key said it was a tricky weekend, and summed up the issues facing Sauber during today’s race: “All in all it was a really difficult weekend and a shame not to get to the end. Pedro had a collision in the mix of the first corner, which damaged his rear right tyre and front wing, so he had to come straight in.
“Kamui made an excellent start. He took advantage of the situation in front of him and got up to tenth. But then in the last corner he spun off – that was the end of his race. There was too much damage to the car to continue, which was a real shame because there was potential to score some points.
“When Pedro went out after his early pit stop his pace was extremely good, and he caught up to the people ahead of him. He then came in for a second stop because of the tyres degrading. We hoped he would make it to the end but then he had an engine problem which we need to diagnose.
“That was a pointless end to a difficult weekend, so we have to do better in the next race.”