Both Sauber drivers struggled to get their tyres working over a single qualifying lap in Valencia today as Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez qualified only fourteenth and sixteenth respectively.
Kobayashi, however, thinks that the team will perform better under race conditions, and is still aiming for points tomorrow.
“It is quite tricky,” he said, speaking after qualifying. “Generally our car improved and, again, I am very confident for the race. We have shown we are much better in race conditions. Again I had warm-up issues with the tyres, and once I find some grip the front tyres overheat. For the future we will try to find a solution for this, but for tomorrow I will be aiming for points as in the previous races.”
Perez is also aiming for a top ten finish tomorrow: “Because the track temperatures were going up I expected to be a few tenths quicker, but it turned out not to be that easy,” the Mexican said. “We did more laps in order to get the tyres to work, but this also has disadvantages. However, I think tomorrow it will be possible to get some points and this is my target.”
Sauber technical director James Key did not really share his drivers’ positiveness though: “It was a disappointing session today,” he said. “We made up a bit of ground over night, and the drivers were generally happy with the car this morning, but we knew we needed to make another step in qualifying. Q1 looked okay, Sergio's lap was pretty competitive, and we wanted to improve in Q2. But ultimately this didn't happen. We were unable to extract the most out of the car. It's a real shame, it's not where we want to be, and now we have to focus on our race strategy to try and recover from a difficult qualifying.”