Sauber Battle Typical Ardennes Weather In Practice


Sauber F1 opened their media conversation with this little gem, instead of the usual, “as if it wanted to maintain its bad reputation, the weather in the Ardennes pulled out all the stops on the first day of practice before the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps.”

Despite this “both Sauber F1 Team drivers stayed out of trouble. Sergio Pérez was 12th and seventh while Kamui Kobayashi came tenth and 13th respectively in the two 90 minute sessions.” They were able to test the tyres to a degree during the sessions “for almost the entire first session both cars ran on full wet tyres, but in the second session both drivers did their fastest lap times on the soft tyre compound.”

Rookie Sergio Pérez who is now completely recovered from his injury at Monaco admitted that the day was tough for everyone. “Nevertheless I enjoyed driving a Formula One car here for the first time, and at least we managed to do some work with the soft tyre compound in the second session. Now we have to carefully analyse the data for both wet and dry conditions as it could rain tomorrow.”

2010 Rookie of the year Kamui Kobayashi also found the day difficult leaving Sauber fairly unprepared for the weekend ahead. “For quite a while I stuck to the medium compound when it was dry in the second session, but then unfortunately I only got one lap on the soft compound, and at the end of that the rain started again. Overall there is a lack of clear information, but this will be the same for everybody and it doesn't come as a surprise here in Spa.”

James Key, Technical Director for Sauber continues on from Kobayashi's point that they are unprepared by the weekend. “We had pretty unpredictable conditions today, so it is difficult to know what to read into exactly where things stand. I think in FP1 it was really just a case of running the car in the wet conditions, and learning a little bit about the full wets and the intermediates crossing over and how the car feels on them. The track was improving a lot towards the end of the session, so that kind of made it a little bit difficult to see exactly where the car was because the track conditions were changing a lot, but we still got some useful data.”

“In FP2 it was destined to be wet, but surprisingly started damp so we ran the intermediate to begin with and did some set-up work. On Kamui's car in particular we seemed to be going in a good direction. Then we ran Kamui on the medium tyre and Sergio on the soft. Again the track was improving a lot on each lap, so we have not had consistent conditions, but fundamentally it was okay. Kamui just tried the soft right at the end before the rain came. We have got a lot of data to look at tonight and assess how to deal with the car in the various weather conditions we could encounter.”