Sauber signalled their intention to challenge for more points this weekend in Hockenheim by setting the 11th and 13th fastest times in Friday practice today.
Thanks to the changeable German weather, the track was wet for the entire morning session, but in the afternoon some proper dry running saw Kamui Kobayashi just a tenth of a top-ten lap time, while Pedro de la Rosa was just two tenths slower than his Sauber teammate.
“It was a bit tricky for us that it was wet in the morning because we had a huge programme with the new components on the car, but still we got a lot of work done today,” said Kobayashi.
“The balance isn't too bad, really, and we can improve it with some set-up changes,” the Japanese driver added. “We definitely have to find something that enables us to make better use of the softer tyre compound. I don't regard the difference between hard and super soft as a problem on this track.”
De la Rosa explained that, despite the bad weather, Sauber now have a lot of the data that they need to find a competitive set-up for tomorrow’s qualifying. “We had good runs in the wet this morning and now also good runs in dry conditions,which actually was a bonus because it was not expected to stay dry in free practice two,” he said. “We know more or less what we need now. For me we have to improve the front end, and I think we can do this with some set up changes.”
At the end of the two session, Sauber technical director James Key also sounded pretty pleased with how the day had gone. “We haven't been in the wet for a while, so we had to see where we were this morning on the full wet tyres which we started on, and then the intermediate tyres later in the session,” he explained.
“The [second] session was fairly productive,and in general the drivers were happy with the car. There were some balance issues because of the general track conditions, but we have been able to cope with our set- up. The updates we've got seem to work as we expected, which is good.”