Sauber narrowly missed out on their first points of 2010 in Australia today after Pedro de la Rosa slipped out of the top ten in the closing stages of the grand prix. Kamui Kobayashi crashed out at turn six on the first lap.
De la Rosa blamed tyre degradation for his lack of points. “For a while the race went okay, I managed to stay out of trouble and there was a good chance to get our first points. But, I'm afraid, we underestimated the tyre degradation. In the end I really had no rear tyres left. For the last 15 laps it was just a question of how to keep the car on the track. I was absolutely helpless when Michael (Schumacher) and Jaime (Alguersuari) came in the end to overtake me”
Kamui Kobayashi blamed a front wing failure for his opening lap crash, which also ended the races of Nico Hulkenberg and Sebastien Buemi. “It looks as if I touched a kerb or another car in turn three. Everything was very close and I don't really remember anything major, but on the data it looks like there was something. I had no worries about the front wing, but a few corners later it went off and got stuck under the car. At first I had no idea what had happened. I had no control anymore.”
Team Principal Peter Sauber is disappointed to be leaving Melbourne empty-handed. “Looking at how the race evolved, it's a disappointing result. For a third of the race Pedro was able to defend ninth against Rubens Barrichello, but then he lost out, and in the penultimate lap he was also passed by Michael Schumacher and Jaime Alguersuari. Kamui's race didn't even last one lap. Following contact with another car his front wing broke, and he went off, unfortunately hitting other competitors.”
Sauber Technical Director Willy Rampf explained the problems facing the two drivers in today’s race. “It was a race start under difficult conditions. Kamui most probably had contact with another car and damaged his front wing. As a result the front wing broke in the braking zone of corner 6, and Kamui went off.
“Pedro won positions after the start, and we made the change from intermediates to slicks at the right moment. Our strategy was to finish the race with this set of tyres, which – looking at the overall result – was the right decision. However, the tyres degraded too much, and the lap times were not consistent enough, therefore we lost our chance to finish the race in ninth.”