Neither Kamui Kobayashi or Pedro de la Rosa made it to half distance in today’s Monaco Grand Prix, and still Sauber are yet to score a point in 2010.
It was a gearbox problem that ended Kobayashi’s race on Lap 27, and the Japanese driver is ruing the missed opportunity to get some points on the board: “It is a shame because our race pace was a lot better than our performance in qualifying. I think we again missed a chance to score points. My start was good. The first corner is never easy in Monaco, but it went alright. But then I wasn't able to shift up anymore. I just looked for a safe place to park the car and that was it.”
Pedro de la Rosa had his race ended by a hydraulic problem on Lap 22. “At the start I stayed away from trouble, which was the main target, and then I was taking care of the tyres,” said the Spaniard. “We had a split strategy, which I think was good. I was on the softer compound, Kamui on the harder one.
“I was cruising behind Vitaly Petrov and waitingfor my chance to push. But I was alarmed when I had a problem with the quick shift, and when the power steering became heavier and heavier it was clear I had a problem with the hydraulic system.”
Sauber technical director James Key summed up the feelings of the team after yet another bad weekend. “A disappointing end to a tough weekend,” he said, “and one we wouldn't want to repeat. It was frustrating in many ways because our drivers were being held up in the race, and there was more to come from the car.
“We felt that a strategic call could help us to overtake some cars ahead. We split the strategies of our cars to take advantage of safety car situations. So we had left our options open for the race, but then we saw on the data that we had a significant increase of hydraulic temperatures on Pedro's car.
“Pedro reported that the steering had become particularly heavy. We pitted him and wanted to see what the problem was, but there was clearly a hydraulic pressure problem. Wec ouldn't diagnose it quickly enough to get him back out again into the race.
“Just a few laps later there was a gearbox issue on Kamui's car. He lost a gear and then couldn't select the next one, which caused him to stop on the track. That problem is currently under investigation.
“We shall learn what we can from this weekend, but look forward to tracks where we think the car will work better and hope for a much more promising showing in Istanbul.”