Sauber are heading to the British Grand Prix this weekend some new aero parts, hoping to build on their success in Valencia, were Kamui Kobayashi finished seventh and Pedro de la Rosa came close to scoring an additional point.
Silverstone boasts a new layout this year with the arena section between Abbey and Luffield. Pedro de la Rosa thinks that the fast sweeping corners of the Northamptonshire circuit will suit the C29 better than the slow corners of Valencia, and hopes that Sauber will make further progress on Sunday.
“We are all going to a new Silverstone and have to be open minded,” said the Spaniard. “The changes to the track look very nice and I expect its character, with plenty of medium and high speed corners, has remained unchanged, and this should suit our car more than the Valencia circuit did. I'm very much looking forward to the British Grand Prix.”
Kamui Kobayashi is also a fan of the much lauded circuit and is expecting an impressive crowd, although the Japanese driver acknowledges that they will probably be focusing more on the McLaren duo.
“I have a very good feeling for the race in Silverstone,” said Kobayashi. “I like this track a lot and I'm looking forward to seeing the new parts. The high speed corners make it one of my favourite circuits. Also there is always a good crowd, and I think this time with their fellow countrymen leading the championship they will be very excited. I like going to England, and London is a great city anyway.”
Technical Director James Key also enjoys visiting Silverstone, and knows that the new arena section could throw up some interesting challenges for the teams. “It's a nice feeling to go back to Silverstone,” he said. “It's a circuit I know well, and I've alwaysenjoyed being at the track. There's an excellent turnout from the fans as well, so it's got a real atmosphere about it.
“It's obviously different this year, as several of the old corners we know have gone. However, it will be new for everyone. I'm looking forward to see how the new section affects the track. It was never a circuit that was easy to overtake on. It could be that the new section has some influence on that, but we won't know until we get there. We've been working on what we think we need to do for the new layout.”
“We will have a busy Friday to try and cover all the options to find out what is best forthe modified track. What's important there is high speed and medium speed stability of the car. The first sector, particularly, is dominated by these kinds of corners. It's important that the car is competitive through Copse and then the winding section afterwards.
“There's only really two or three places where braking is of high importance. It's not a high braking energy circuit, so braking stability is less of an issue to consider, but we have to see how the new section affects that. I think we also have to keep an eye on the aerodynamic efficiency with the longer straights, so there is a bit to learn but also a lot which is familiar. I'm looking forward to the weekend.”