Sauber Disappointed to Leave China With Single Point After Outstanding Qualifying


Sergio Perez led team-mate Kamui Kobayashi in the early stages of the Chinese Grand Prix, but finished the race one place behind the Japanese driver - Photo Credit: Sauber Motorsport AG
Sergio Perez led team-mate Kamui Kobayashi in the early stages of the Chinese Grand Prix, but finished the race one place behind the Japanese driver - Photo Credit: Sauber Motorsport AG

 

With Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez starting the Chinese Grand Prix from third and eighth places, Sauber were expecting to score a points haul in Shanghai.

However, the Hinwil-based team leave China with just a single point from Kobayashi’s tenth place finish.

“Of course after what we did in qualifying the race result is disappointing,” said the Japanese driver, who suffered from a poor getaway off the line.

“I'm not really sure what happened at the start, my car just didn't move, it was a bit strange and I lost positions immediately. Then I was stuck in traffic for most of the time, also we made the second pit stop a bit late and the tyres had gone.

“Quite often we have recovered in the race from a bad qualifying, but today it was the other way round. So we have proven we can be strong in both qualifying and race, and next time we will put this all together.”

It was worse for Sergio Perez. The Mexican was actually leading the race during the early stages, but he eventually finished in P11, just outside the points.

“I must say I am very disappointed,” he said, somewhat echoing his team-mate. “I had a very good start, and for the entire first stint it really looked to be going very well for me. But then when I picked up the medium compound tyres I lost a lot of performance from lap 17 onwards.

“Actually I feel I would have been better off with a three stop strategy, but you never know. The pit stops as such were good, but at both I lost time at the launch because we had a problem with the clutch. However, this is racing and we will do better next time.“

Monisha Kaltenborn, the Sauber CEO, recognised that race pace and strategy were the two things that went awry for the team today. “We are obviously disappointed with this result,” she said. “After our strong qualifying we expected more. However, we were not fast enough, and our strategy didn't work out – both our drivers got stuck in traffic.

“For the fans it was a very exciting race with a lot of overtaking right up to the end, which shows how fierce the competition is. Congratulations to Nico Rosberg and Mercedes for a well deserved victory.”