Sergio Perez believes Sauber have the pace to challenge for a place in Q3 during qualifying at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tomorrow. The Mexican was tenth fastest on Friday at Yas Marina and thinks that represents the Swiss team’s place in the pecking order heading into the weekend.
“For me it was a good day. We have completed our entire planned programme, so in this respect it was very positive. I am comfortable with the balance of the car and, therefore, I think my position in the second session is pretty much what we are capable of here. This means Q3 is possible.”
Teammate Kamui Kobayashi was sixteenth overall after failing to extract the best of the soft Pirelli tyres but doesn’t expect to be that far down the order tomorrow, or on Sunday.
“I definitely have to work and improve the balance of the car. At the moment it isn’t right in any regard, but it is only day one in Abu Dhabi. The track’s grip normally improves a lot here, which might also help. Today I didn’t really manage to get the tyres to work. However, on long runs I don’t see any issues with either the soft or medium compounds in terms of degradation.”
Head of Track Engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara was encouraged by the way Sauber started the weekend, especially given the problems of previous races.
“We are certainly in better shape today than we were on the Friday in Korea and India, where we struggled more. On the programme side I am quite happy, as we managed to do everything we planned.”