Sauber had a mixed day in China – Kamui Kobayashi survived a collision with Adrian Sutil and a struggle on used tyres to finish the race tenth, whilst his team-mate Sergio Perez was handed two penalties by the stewards and ended the afternoon down in seventeenth.
“I am very happy we were able to score at least one point today,” said Kobayashi. “I had a really good start and was able to make up positions.
“This was obviously important after not qualifying as high up as I wanted to. When I was trying to get close to Adrian (Sutil) on lap 14 we came across another car and I think the driver did not see me. We touched and this was when I got a hole in the car's nose. Technically it was not a problem to drive with that, but practically quite a lot of dust and dirt came into the cockpit. My white overalls looked awfully dirty in the end, but this is obviously not important.
“I made my second pit stop a few laps earlier than originally planned, but it turned out to be okay to do the remaining 26 laps on the hard compound, although I must admit after overtaking Paul (Di Resta) three laps before the end those tyres where finished.”
Perez received both a drive-through penalty and a ten second stop/go in the race for two incidents. “Most importantly I'm very sorry for the accident with Adrian (Sutil) – I am sorry for him and sorry for my team,” said the apologetic Mexican. “At this time in the race I wanted to get the most out of my tyres, as I was under pressure from Vitaly (Petrov), so was quite aggressive. Unfortunately I lost the rear when I was already on the inside of Adrian and crashed into him. It is a real shame because, as I said before, this weekend I felt a lot more comfortable with the car than ever before.”
Technical director James Key said that both of his drivers did a good job, despite Perez’s incidents. “It is nice to come away from here finishing in the points,” he commented. “I think it was always going to be a bit tricky from where we were on the grid, but our intention was to give it our best shot at top ten positions.
“Both drivers did a good job. It was unfortunate with Sergio's incident, but we will look at that afterwards. It is only his third race so perhaps he was a bit optimistic but, other than that, again he drove a really good race and I think his pace was very good.
“Kamui did a great job to do a lot of laps on the hard tyre at the end. We pulled him in early and he did okay. He brought home a point for us. However, Mercedes has taken a good step forward here and is ahead of us in the championship, so we have got to react to this as best we can and have a better weekend in Turkey.“