Sauber look in good shape for their weekend in Singapore after Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi finished Friday practice eighth and ninth on the timesheets.
The first practice session at Marina Bay was much shorter than scheduled – a 30 minute delay for track repairs cut the session from 90 minutes to 60 and two red flags took away another 12 minutes of track time.
For Perez, who was driving this circuit for the first time, this lack of running did not appear to be a problem. The Mexican feels he has a good opportunity to score some points here this weekend.
“Today we had very nice conditions for driving,” he said. “The circuit is very demanding for the drivers and also for the tyres. You have to be focused all the time. Turn ten can be quite tricky because the kerbs are high, and if you get it wrong in that chicane you jump too high. I hope we manage to find a good balance for the car for the race. I think we have some good opportunities here to score points.”
Kobayashi seemed pretty content with his car after the two sessions: “My car is quite okay,” said the Japanese driver. “Generally it is better on circuits which require more downforce, which, unlike at the recent circuits we have raced on, is the case here. It is a different and a better feeling. Also for me both tyre compounds, the soft and the super soft, seem okay.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering at Sauber, said that the team were effected by the unexpected shortening of that opening practice session, but said that things picked up in the afternoon.
“It is never very easy here and today it has been difficult but we have done a lot of work,” he said. “For the first practice we had a bit of a disturbance because of a shorter session and two red flags, so, even though we tried to pull everything together, we couldn't do what was planned and, because of this, the performance suffered a bit. For the second practice we completed our programme okay. We tested tyres, something on the set-up of the car and some checks that were planned.”