Sauber are hoping to continue their upward trend at Hockenheim this weekend, where the team will celebrate the 40th year of Sauber motorsport.
Kamui Kobayashi has taken 14 points from the last two races, and the Japanese driver is confident he can add to his tally in Germany. “I know the Hockenheim circuit pretty well as I have raced there in Formula Renault, Formula 3 and GP2,” explained Kobayashi.
“I actually quite like the track. It has some narrow sections, but also a long straight and this combination makes it a very technical circuit. It is not easy to find the right set-up for the car there, and this is an interesting challenge.
“After two good races recently I hope we can keep our momentum and develop the car further. If the new update we will be getting for the German Grand Prix also works, as the last two did for Valencia and Silverstone, I'm confident of scoring points again.”
De la Rosa is yet to score points for the team this season, but has his best qualifying session of the year in Silverstone. The Spaniard, who has been in and around Formula 1 for many years now, actually knows the traditional layout of Hockenheim better than its revised form.
“Actually I know the old Hockenheimring better than the new one, but the shorter lay-out definitely makes for very good racing,” he said. “This is especially down to the great overtaking opportunity before the hairpin.
“I hope we can carry on with the performancewe had in Silverstone, although Hockenheim doesn't offer so many high speed corners. The team has improved the car quite a lot since Valencia, and in Silverstone we were able to get the most out of the car's potential.
“It was very good on Saturday and, of course, I was deeply disappointed when I could not finish the race and score. But I have to look forward, and I think I can fight for points. The Hockenheim track tends to be hard on the rear tyres and we will have to work around that.”
Sauber technical director James Key explains that Bridgestone have provided an additional challenge this weekend by bringing the two tyre compounds from each end of their range – the hard and the super-soft tyres. However, he is optimistic that a selection of new parts should help the team build on the successes of recent races.
“After two good races we obviously want to carry on the momentum as best we can at Hockenheim,” he said. “It's quite a different track to the last two. It's more a mix of slow speed corners in the final section, where you can gain lap time if you get it right, and to a certain extent quite a bit of straight line running.
“It's gonna be a tradeoff between downforce and drag. Braking stability will be important to get the best out of the slow speed corners. There are some high speed areas, which we think will suit our car well.
“Most interestingly it's a circuit where you have one or two good overtaking opportunities. Tyre compounds are extreme, they are either very soft or very hard, so it will be interesting to see how that works out for qualifying and the race. This will increase the workload on Friday and Saturday to make sure we have a good understanding of both compounds.
“We will have several aero updates on our C29, including a modified diffuser. It's a package which is again a step in the same direction we've been pursuing for Valencia and Silverstone.”
Check this site over the weekend for a look back at the last forty years for Sauber motorsport, including comments from founder Peter Sauber.