Despite decent results over the three practice sessions prior to qualifying in Monza, Sauber were forced to settle for P15 and P17 on the Italian Grand Prix grid after struggling to match the pace of their rivals this afternoon.
Sergio Perez out-qualified team-mate Kamui Kobayashi this afternoon but was not particularly pleased about his grid position.
“Of course we cannot be happy with our qualifying result, but also I think this is pretty much all we could do today,” explained the Mexican. “My fastest lap was a good one, so there is nothing to complain about. Now we have to cope with what we've got. I trust our race pace will once again be better than our qualifying performance, and for sure I still want to score points at my first Formula One Grand Prix in Monza.“
Kobayashi also felt that he could not have got much more out of the car today. “I slightly flat spotted a tyre in Q2, but even without that happening I don't believe I could have qualified in a significantly better position,” said the Japanese driver. “We have been quite far away from Q3 today. However, we knew the Monza high speed circuit would be a tough one for us, and in the end it is tomorrow's race what counts. Of course it will be very difficult to get into the points from where I will be starting, but chances can still open up, so we will see.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering at Sauber, explained that the team are struggling to compete with their closest rivals this weekend, and predicts a difficult grand prix tomorrow.
“It was obviously a disappointing qualifying,” he said. “The balance of the cars was okay, and we were able to complete the programme without any problems, but the lap times just didn't come. On this track the competition is farther away than we were expecting them to be.
“The race will be difficult from this position, but our race performance should normally be a little bit closer to the opposition, and we will try to maximise our chances with the right strategy.”