It was a reasonable start to the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend for Sauber who – after celebrating 40 years of Sauber motorsport last weekend in Germany – compete in their 300th grand prix here.
Both Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi were quite happy with the balance of their cars, and finished the day eleventh and fourteenth fastest respectively.
“For me it was a positive and productive day,” said de la Rosa. “My car is pretty good on this low speed circuit, which means all the improvements the team introduced during the recent races are also paying off on this type of track. I think we are looking strong here and there is more to come: For the time being my car tends to understeer, the front is a bit lazy, but I'm sure this can be solved by changing the set-up.”
Kobayashi says that there is still work to do on his car before qualifying tomorrow: “We have done a lot of set-up work today and my car is getting better, but I am not happy yet. The track is quite bumpy and I have to fight understeer as well as oversteer. But my main problem is a lack of grip. I don't really know yet where this comes from, but the data will tell us and we are now going to look at it.”
Sauber technical director James Key explained that the team were working very hard to complete their programmes this morning, and says that there is still a lot to be done before tomorrow’s sessions. “It's been a very busy day,” he said.
“In the morning we tested some aerodynamic parts on both cars, which provided us with very useful data in view of future developments. The morning was okay for both drivers as the cars ran fine.
“The second session was more of a standard programme, looking at the set-up of the cars and the tyres. The biggest problems today were consistency and traffic. The grip levels were quite tricky and made it difficult to put together a good lap, particularly on the harder tyre, but also with the soft compound it was not easy to produce consistent lap times. That's definitely something we have to look into this evening.
“We've got work to do tonight, and I don't think it's straight forward, but Pedro being 11th on a compromised lap wasn't so bad. For Kamui we need to work on the rear end of his car to make it more stable. I think it's still open as to what will happen tomorrow.”