Formula 1

Promise Turns Into Disappointment For Sauber At Spa

2 Mins read

Sauber were left disappointed after a Belgian Grand Prix that began in promising fashion. Both Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez were running inside the top ten early on in the race, but neither would finish the race in the points, with Perez being forced to retire while Kobayashi made it to the flag in 12th.

Kobayashi ran longer on his first stint than most, which resulted in him moving as high as fourth place. There he found himself being passed by Lewis Hamilton on the Kemmel Straight, but the two made contact at Les Combes which resulted in Hamilton crashing out of the race. Hamilton later accepted full blame for the incident after watching the replays.

“Of course I expected to score some points today,” said Kobayashi. “My start was good and I had a couple of nice fights. On the straights I was actually slower than expected, but I don't know yet why this was. It was also hard to survive with the soft tyres and I was under pressure from Vitaly Petrov.

“Regarding the accident with Hamilton, which happened when I was running in fourth, I knew perfectly well he was faster than me so had no reason to fight with him. After he overtook me it was not my intention to get my position back, so I stayed on my line and didn't expect him to move over.

“When I pitted on the second lap behind the Safety Car I lost an awful lot of positions. Anyway, the long stint on the medium tyres in the end worked well, but then I was too far away from the points.”

Perez explains his race, which came undone after he ran into Sebastien Buemi while running seventh.

“I am very disappointed. I had a good start and beginning to the race. The car was very good and we should have scored points. On lap five I was in seventh when Buemi changed his line in front of me under braking, I tried to avoid hitting him but couldn't as I had lost downforce. I later got a drive through penalty which I did on lap 22.

“After that I also made my second pit stop. I had dropped way behind and tried to recover from there. I had just overtaken Bruno Senna when I felt there was something seriously wrong at the back of the car, so I drove it carefully back to the pits and that was it for today.”

Technical director James Key added: “This was a disappointing result after a reasonably promising day yesterday, and the pace was not quite as good as it should have been either, so we need to look at why that was. We could and should have scored points today, but for various reasons it didn't work out for us.

“Sergio did well to try and maintain his position at the start, but he had an incident with one of the Toro Rossos, which we need to look at, and subsequently got a drive through penalty, so that pushed him right down the order. There was some damage to his car and the rear axle, which we now need to investigate this as that was part of our problem, and we had to retire him.

“Kamui lost several places during the safety car period. We called him into the box but for some reason he came in a lap later, so there was a miscommunication that we need to look into. We have to gather ourselves up and go to the next race.”

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Peter joined the TCF team in September 2010 and covers GP2 and GP3 along with WTCC and Formula Two. You can find him on twitter at @PeteAllen_
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