Sauber locked out the eighth row of the Monaco grid today here in Monaco, with Pedro de la Rosa out-qualifying Kamui Kobayashi.
The team made a lot of set-up changes to the car after Thursday practice, and the drivers were reportedly happy with their revised C29 cars.
Pedro de la Rosa claimed that, despite the lowly grid positions, this was a good qualifying session for the team. “Fifteenth doesn't sound fantastic,” said the Spaniard, “but actually I'm satisfied of what we did. We have changed the car a lot since the first practice and the set-up and balance are as good as possible.
“Qualifying here was never meant to be an easy one for us. We still struggle in the low speed corners, but we did a good in qualifying. I gave everything I have and the team did very well. We now have to concentrate on the race and finish it.”
Kamui Kobayashi agreed with his teammate about the troubles Sauber are experiencing in Monte Carlo, but knows how unpredictable things can be here on race day. “It is really hard for us,” said Kobayashi, “and probably our hardest weekend of the season. Monaco is exceptional. I expect us to perform a lot better in Istanbul. I find it tough here. However, on this circuit anything can happen in the race and I will try my hardest to make the most of any chance I might get.”
Sauber technical director James Key thinks that traffic was a factor today for his two drivers and says that getting both cars to the finish tomorrow is important for the team: “Ultimately a bit disappointing where we are after Barcelona, but this was always going to be a more difficult circuit for us.
“The competition was very, very close, within a few tenths, and I think that the car had those extra tenths in it. But with the traffic and all the difficulties in qualifying, unfortunately on the last run we just couldn't quite put the sectors together to be closer to the top ten.
“It's very tight, and we have to keep it as clean as possible tomorrow, bring the cars home and make the best of our position.”