Sauber used Friday in Valencia to find the right balance for the car, optimise the braking stability and gain experience from the super soft and hard Bridgestone compounds.
The team had a trouble free day which ended with Pedro de la Rosa 14th fastest and teammate Kamui Kobayashi just one place behind.
“We completed a huge programme today and everything went very well,” said Kobayashi. “With the new aero package we now have to work to get the balance right. It is getting reasonable, but we have to analyse the data and I'm sure there is more to come. In the morning I found the track less dirty than expected. However, in the morning tyre degradation was an issue, but not anymore in the afternoon.”
The Spaniard de la Rosa is competing in his second home race this 2010 season and, unlike in Barcelona, he has never driven around the Valencia harbour before. “We made a lot of changes to the car during the day to prepare for tomorrow'squalifying. The main focus was to work on the braking performance to get the car stable under braking. Both tyres worked quite well on the warm asphalt, and I don't expect anything like the issues we had in Canada.
“For me it was the first time driving on this track. It took me a few laps to learn it, especially the many braking points, but I quickly liked it.”
Sauber Technical Director James Key said that the team had needed a Friday without incident today, and emphasised that there is still work to do. “We had no technical problems with the cars today, which was good because we had two very busy sessions,” he said.
“We worked on adapting the set-up of the car to the new aero package. This is the first step to make the car easier to drive. Fundamentally we have found some directions we can follow for tomorrow, but we have to analyse all the data tonight and see what steps we can make.
“The consistency from lap to lap needs a bitof work. If we look at the sector times they don't really reflect the lap times, so we have to make sure the drivers can get the best out of the car over one lap. We made progress in some areas but we have work to do in others.”