The newly renamed Sauber Motorsport team were forced to watch the climactic segment of Bahrain GP qualifying, drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi went out after the second session finishing 14th and 16th fastest respectively.
Both drivers successfully made it though the first part of qualifying, where seven drivers from the 24-strong grid went out but struggled, especially on the bumpy, twisting new section of track added for this year.
“I can't say I'm satisfied because before we came here we expected to be a bit higher up. But we already knew yesterday this is a bad track for us with the new infield,” said de la Rosa, whose lap of 1:56.237 was just over second shy of that needed to progress into the top ten.
“I have to blame myself for losing a couple of tenths, because I made mistakes on my very last lap when I just pushed too hard because at this time there wasn't much to lose.”
Teammate Kobayashi echoed the Spaniard's disappointment. “After winter testing we thought we would be quicker, but we are really struggling with the bumpy new part of the track. Of course the temperatures are much higher here, which is also something new as we now see what the effect is between the car and the tyres. We have to work really hard for improvements.”
“Based on the results in winter testing our goal was to get one car into Q3,” said Willy Rampf, the team's Technical Director However, we missed that by a big margin. We will now try to make up positions in the race using the right strategic options which are now allowed by the new rules.”
However, the team are still hopeful for the race, buoyed by recent positive news from analysis of the Bridgestone tyres. ”Tomorrow's race will be hard but I still hope our car will not be hard on the tyres and we can move up a bit,” Kobayashi adds. “There is always a chance for points.”