After both cars made it into Q3 in Japan one week ago, Sauber were unable to repeat this form today at Korea. Neither car made it into the top ten shoot-out, with Sergio Perez due to start twelfth, and Kamui Kobayashi – the hero from Suzuka – starting thirteenth.

Perez had looked like he’d just get in the top ten, but an ill-timed yellow flag caused by Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo negated any chance of improving he had.

“It is a shame, as we were so close to getting into Q3 but, of course, I had to back off because of the yellow flags in the last sector. Well, the positive side is that we have saved a set of fresh tyres for the race. In any case it will be an interesting one because I could not do long runs in free practice to the extent I wanted to.”

Kobayashi also blamed the yellow flags for his early exit from qualifying, but remains confident ahead of tomorrow’s race.

“I would have been easily five tenths faster but I had to back off when the yellow flags came out. I am quite disappointed, especially as we had improved the car for Q2. In Q1 initially I had problems with oversteer, but our set up changes worked out nicely. However, here we have a track which allows overtaking and the race is always a different story.”

“We showed a strong performance today, which was not rewarded because both our drivers had to slow down due to the yellow flags in the last corner. They both delivered a strong qualifying and, based on the long runs we did yesterday, I’m confident we can have a strong race tomorrow,” Monisha Kaltenborn, who was recently elected as the team’s principle, added.