Sauber achieved a solid qualifying result in Canada today considering that they have spent most of the weekend rebuilding cars that have come too close to the formidable track-side walls in Montreal.
Kamui Kobayashi will start the Canadian Grand Prix from thirteenth whilst stand-in driver Pedro de la Rosa had to settle for seventeenth.
“It is a difficult weekend for us,” said Kobayashi. “After I crashed yesterday the team had to build up the spare chassis for me. My biggest problem here is driving over the kerbs. I have an overall lack of grip and find it really tricky to get to the limit with the car. Nevertheless today the balance of the car improved a bit.
“I could have gone a few tenths quicker on my last flying lap. I was attacking quite hard and it was good until the middle of the second sector, as I then had a problem with using the rear wing and almost lost the car before the chicane. Our race pace should be good and I'm focusing on getting points tomorrow.”
De la Rosa crashed in the dying seconds of Free Practice 3 this morning, meaning that the team had to work tirelessly through the lunch break to get the car ready for qualifying.
“It is obviously a very eventful time for me,” said the Spaniard. “Yesterday morning I didn't expect to sit in a racing car, and this morning I actually didn't expect a lot from qualifying. It is not easy to familiarise yourself with the car and all the new buttons in such a short space of time.
“Of course, the crash I had this morning didn't help either. I lost the car and then also a bit of confidence goes. I am very happy the team managed to repair the car and I want to thank them.
“Anyway, every time I jump into the car it goes better. I'm quite pleased with the outcome of qualifying and I'm optimistic for the race. The Sauber C30 is always stronger in the race than in qualifying. I want to get points for the team as that is what I'm here for.”
Technical director James Key had this frank analysis of the team’s qualifying result: “I believe there's more to come for tomorrow,” he said. “I don't think we could have made it into Q3. We are not a hundred percent satisfied, but under the circumstances it's still okay where we are. The race is a totally different story.”