The Sauber team had a busy Thursday in Monaco as they tested their Monaco-spec high-downforce package, evaluated the super soft Pirelli tyre, which makes its first appearance at a race this weekend, and looked at a new suspension development on the C30.
Sergio Perez, who won the GP2 feature race here last season, completed 73 laps over the course of the two 90-minute practice sessions, ending the day as the twelfth fastest driver.
“It was a good day for me,” said the Mexican rookie. “We had a huge programme and have done a lot of work. In the morning session it was a bit difficult with the tyres, because we went out early and then their performance dropped off. In the afternoon I tried the super soft tyres for the first time, and also did a long run on them.
“I really hope we will be able to do a good qualifying. With the Formula One car it is obviously even more difficult to overtake here in Monaco than it was with a GP2 car.”
Team-mate Kamui Kobayashi was not quite as happy as Perez. He complained about the balance of his car after finishing the day sixteenth on the timesheets.
“For me it was a little bit tricky today,” said the Japanese driver. “My car was bouncing too much, therefore the balance wasn't right either and I didn't have enough grip. We have to find something to get rid of the bouncing. It was so bad that I feel I cannot really make a judgement on the tyre comparison.
“Regarding the rear wing, I would say it doesn't make much difference in Monaco whether you have DRS or not, except it keeps you busy. Either way overtaking is extremely difficult here.”
James Key, the Sauber technical director, noted that the team might have some issues in qualifying on Saturday if they can not up their performance in the meantime: “We now have to analyse our data and need to work on our performance on fresh tyres for qualifying, because that is the part which is not quite a hundred per cent.”