Sauber endured a difficult start to the Korean Grand Prix weekend with pace and reliability both deserting them. Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez were fourteenth and fifteenth respectively with the latter not able to complete his option tyre run due to a technical problem. As a result, Perez wasn’t able to do any race-preparation either and isn’t sure where he lies in the competitive pecking order.
“For me the first session went quite well but then in the second session I lost a lot of track time because of a technical problem. I just had no engine power anymore and had to stop on the track. That was why I could not complete my programme and haven’t done any long runs on either tyre compound yet so it is too early to say what we can do here. Nevertheless I am very confident for the remainder of the weekend.”
Kobayashi was encouraged by his race pace but the speed in qualifying trim didn’t fill him with as much confidence. The Japanese driver is now looking towards Saturday morning practice as a crucial session to improve the car on a single lap.
“We completed a huge programme with my car today but I’m not really happy yet. On high fuel it doesn’t look bad actually but on low fuel I’m struggling a lot. We have to find out how we can improve and I think we will find solutions.”
Head of Track Engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara believes their car works better on the prime tyres, explaining their confidence for the race, but acknowledges that they must improve on the options tomorrow.
“Unfortunately we have lost half of the second session on Sergio’s car because of a problem with the engine management. With Kamui’s car we didn’t have any reliability issues but performance-wise we have to improve. We need to get a better understanding of a few things and decide what to do. Generally speaking the soft tyre compound is definitely the better one for us. We have to look deeper into the data to find solutions on how to manage the super-softs.”