Sauber spent the two Friday practice sessions in Istanbul testing new parts for the C30: aerodynamic components with Sergio Perez and mechanical updates with Kamui Kobayashi.
Wet weather hampered this testing with extreme wet weathers the only realistic choice for the morning session, and a mixture of wet and intermediate rubber in the afternoon.
Perez finished the day as the ninth fastest driver, thoroughly enjoying his first outing on the Turkish track in an F1 car. He also explained the reason for finishing down in 22nd place this morning.
“In the morning I didn't put in a proper lap time due to some aero testing,” said the Mexican. “After the second session I'm quite positive for tomorrow. We have to draw the right conclusions tonight, and I believe we can be good in qualifying. I absolutely enjoy every lap going through turn eight. For me it is the first time in an F1 car here and it is sensational.”
Kobayashi’s afternoon hampered by a hydraulics issue, but congratulated Pirelli on their extreme wet tyre, which was used at length today. The Japanese driver finished the day in eighteenth.
”In the morning I did some testing with mechanical parts, but we have been quite unfortunate with the weather conditions for this,” commented Kobayashi. “It is really difficult to judge from the wet testing. Nevertheless it was a good experience to use the wet tyres for an entire session. I think Pirelli has done a good job, I don't see degradation problems, and the tyres should be ok for a race.
“In the second session we did our normal programme, despite an hydraulic problem which we had to solve. But again I find it difficult to judge how good the car really is here, so we need to look into the data tonight.”
Sauber technical director James Key sounded tentatively positive about the new updates tested today, and is hoping to make further gains with car performance in qualifying tomorrow.
“From what we can tell in the morning's difficult conditions, things seem to work well on the mechanical side and we plan to continue with these updates for Saturday,” he explained. “In the afternoon we worked through a normal programme in dry conditions, comparing the tyres and working on the set-up of the car.
“Overall this was troublefree for Sergio, and we are generally happy with the car. However, we have a few bounce issues in lower speed which we have to tackle. For Kamui it was reasonable for the first outings, but on his out lap on the option tyres he suffered an hydraulic leak, and he had no chance to put a sensible lap time together. The team did a great job in fixing the car quickly, and getting it out for a longer run. We will analyse all the data from today and see if we can make further progress for tomorrow.”