After struggling to find a good car balance in free practice yesterday, Sauber’s woes continued today with Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi only able to qualify fourteenth and fifteenth respectively for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“Basically this was all that was possible for us today,” said Perez. “For some reason all weekend we have been struggling with the balance of the car and how to understand how the tyres work on this track.
“I feel on my car we made a big step forward in regard to the balance between free practice this morning and qualifying. Q1 actually didn't look bad at all, but the car still behaved inconsistently and in Q2 it was so difficult to put a perfect lap together that I didn't make it into Q3.”
Kobayashi also said that his qualifying result today was expected given the team’s difficulties this weekend. “Well, after we have been struggling in all free practice sessions since we got here the qualifying result doesn't come as a complete surprise,” said the Japanese driver. “To me getting through to Q3 would have been a miracle today.
“We don't understand why we can't manage to get the tyres to work at this track, and this goes for both compounds as I can't find the grip I need. Perhaps it is track related and has to do with bumps or dust or even something else.
“It will be another tough race for us because overtaking is particularly difficult here, but certainly we won't give up and will try our best tomorrow.”
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering at Sauber, is at a loss to explain why the team are so uncompetitive at the Hungaroring, but expects the car to be stronger in tomorrow’s race.
“It's certainly a difficult weekend,” he said. “Overall we are struggling quite a lot. Compared to yesterday, we recovered significantly with regard to the set-up of the car, but unfortunately it was not enough.
“Timewise Checo is not that far back from fourth and fifth. Kamui seemed to struggle more today. We also gave him an additional set of soft tyres, because we realised he was in trouble.
“We still don't quite understand why things were so difficult for us. However, tomorrow is another day, and we know we are stronger in the race than in qualifying.”