Kamui Kobayashi was the first of the Sauber drivers to do some testing mileage in the newly launched C30, completing 64 laps of the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia.
The Japanese driver, who finished the day sixth fastest, said that most of the day was spent sorting out the new features on the car, implying that he hadn’t truly begun to exploit the true pace of the 2011 challenger.
“It was a bit of a trouble shooting day, as we had to check all the various new systems and sort things out,” said Kobayashi. “But that is no problem, as it is something you just have to go through. However, due to the work with the new systems we had no time for proper performance runs. The grip of the new tyres dropped off quite quickly. This is something you can improve with set up work, but for the reasons mentioned we did not really have time for that. Anyway we will continue to learn.”
James Key, the Sauber technical director, said that the durability of the Pirelli tyre was an issue today, but otherwise things looked good on the first day of the pre-season testing.
“It was a busy day, with all the little problems you have to look into at this time of the year when testing begins with a brand new car,” he explained. “The important and good thing is we had absolutely no major issues and the car was running well. We used the morning for several system checks and some initial set up work. We only used the KERS and the rear wing activation in the afternoon. Tyre degradation was quite high and we will have to keep an eye on that for the remainder of the test. Of course there is plenty of work to do, but we are fine with what we have learned and achieved so far today.”
Rookie Mexican driver Sergio Perez takes over testing duties tomorrow and on Thursday.