Formula 1

Sauber have trouble free Friday at Sepang

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Sauber had an incident free day of practice in Malaysia as they tested a new rear wing system, in addition to their usual set-up work and race preparation.

Kamui Kobayashi finished 12th and 11th in the two sessions, and afterwards explained what it is like to drive in Sepang. “The car seems to be better than last week in Melbourne, but obviously we need to keep working hard to find a better pace. For me it is good that I know the track here so well, that makes it easy. While driving the heat isn't an issue, but if you sit in the car in the garage waiting for the next outing you almost get grilled. In the afternoon session the asphalt was really, really hot when it reached 50 degrees, and this certainly is hard on the tyres. But perhaps it is a useful experience as the qualifying and the race are also in the afternoon.”

Kobayashi’s teammate, Pedro de la Rosa, managed 16th and 13th in free practice today and also said the car had improved since Melbourne. “It was a really positive Friday as we were able to do a lot of testing and tried different things including our new rear wing system. Balance wise, I am happier with the car now than I was in Australia and I enjoy the high speed corners of the Sepang circuit quite a lot. However, we need to find some more pace.”

Sauber technical director Willy Rampf explained what the team were concentrating on in Friday practice. “We used both sessions to test different configurations of our new rear wing. We will analyse the data here at the track and in the factory in Hinwil to decide on the next steps. In preparation for the race we did long runs with the option tyres to get an understanding of their behaviour when we have a heavy car and a very high track temperature. Overall it was a productive day without any technical problems. We were able to complete our planned programme.”

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