Sauber Drivers Blame Red Flag for Failure to Reach Q3


The session this morning in China represents Sauber‘s worst qualifying performance of the season so far, with neither car making it through to Q3.

Sergio Perez out-qualified team-mate Kamui Kobayashi as the duo secured twelfth and thirteenth places on tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix grid.

It was an eventful session, with Q2 red-flagged just two minutes from the end after Vitaly Petrov stopped out on track in his Renualt. Perez reveals that his flying lap on the resumption of the session was compromised, and so the incident could have cost him a chance at Q3:

“Q1 was fine for me and then in Q2 the team did a good job getting me out at the front of the queue after the red flag, but then we had to wait a while and the tyre temperatures cooled down,” explained the Mexican. “It is a shame because I think the changes we did for the final run would have paid off.”

Kobayashi only narrowly escaped going out in Q1, also blaming the red flag for his failure to reach the pole-position shoot-out.

“It is a shame not to be in Q3 for the first time this year,” said the Japanese driver. “In Q1 it was really tight for me after I was stuck in traffic, and then was the last car to slip through into Q2. Then in Q2 I had a problem with the first set of soft tyres. I just didn't have enough grip, and we have to find out why this was. On the second run I couldn't make the best use of the other set because, after the red flag, we had to queue at the pit lane exit and the temperatures dropped. Also with all the traffic obviously I didn't have the best chance to set a quick lap time. However, I believe points are still within reach as our overall performance is good.”