Hydraulic problems ruin opening race for BMW Sauber

BMW Sauber were very disappointed after their relatively poor weekend in Bahrain ended with both drivers retiring from the race with hydraulic problems.

Despite a strong winter testing performance the team struggled in qualifying and both drivers were running out of the top ten when their races ended prematurely.

Pedro de la Rosa, who retired on Lap 29 had a difficult start to the race but still believed he could have gone on to score points. “I actually had a good start, but then lost positions when I had to go off the track to avoid colliding with other cars. On the grass I lost acceleration and some cars were able to pass, so when I arrived at turn four I had lost several positions. Then I felt we had a car that was good enough to fight for points, and there still was a chance to achieve this when I was called into the pits on lap 29 because of an hydraulic problem.”

Kamui Kobayashi  believed he was on the wrong tyre compound at the start of the race, but tyre choice proved academic as he stopped on Lap 12. “Unfortunately it was a short race for me because on lap 12 I lost the power steering and from then on I wasn't able to shift anymore due to a hydraulic problem. I had quite a good start when I made up four positions, but then I flat-spotted a tyre and, in hindsight, I also believe it would have been better to start on the softer compound. Pedro was faster on them.”

Team Principal, Peter Sauber was disappointed with his return to Formula 1, and knows the team must fix these reliability issues quickly. “I obviously had different hopes for how I would return to Formula One as a team principal, particularly after our promising winter testing. But even before the race our grid positions were disappointing. The race itself was okay from a performance point of view, with both drivers fighting for positions before they both stopped with a hydraulic problem. We have to analyse and to solve this problem very quickly.”

Technical director Willy Rampf found reasons to be cheerful on this difficult day for the team. “The race pace was okay. Pedro drove an intelligent race and managed his tyres reallywell. Kamui, who was on the harder compound, was forced to stop before his firstscheduled pit stop, therefore there is not much to say.”