Technical failures affected the testing programme of both Sauber drivers on day two of the Pirelli test in Abu Dhabi, although both drivers insist that the running they did get on the new tyres was useful experience.
Kamui Kobayashi, who was also on testing duty for the team on Friday, was in the car for this morning’s session. Despite the interruptions, the Japanese driver said that he gained more useful experience of the new tyres, and took the opportunity to say a fond farewell to the C29, which has served him in his first full season in Formula One.
“Overall it was good to have this test with the new Pirelli tyres,” he said. “Despite some technical problems with the car this morning I still gained a little bit more experience with these tyres and we got more data for next year. It was my last run with this car, so I want to say thank you C29! I also want to thank the team, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with them.”
Sergio Perez, the Mexican who will partner Kobayashi at Sauber next season, got his first experience of the Pirelli rubber in the afternoon. The 20-year-old, who took part in the young drivers’ test earlier this week, said that he was learning valuable things as he clocked up more laps in an F1 car, and can’t wait until his next opportunity to get behind the wheel in February.
“It was a pretty good day for me even though we had a few problems, but we still got work done and have got a lot of data to be analysed now,” he said. “It was important for me to do longer runs. I also felt a bit more comfortable with the car and more familiar with the procedures and the engineers, which enabled me to give better feedback to them. I'm quite happy and looking forward to pre-season testing.”
Technical director James Key said that it had been a productive day for the team, despite the technical issues encountered by both drivers. “It was another useful day with the new tyres but both drivers suffered from technical failures which compromised our programme,” he said. “We will look into these issues when we are back in the factory. We learned a little bit more about how the tyres are behaving and it was important for Sergio to get his first run on Pirelli tyres. We had only two sets for him. The main part of his programme was to run on race fuel levels to get a feeling for the car in race condition. Thank you to the team for all the hard work this year! We are looking forward to returning with the new car.”