Pedro de la Rosa has hailed the progress of his Sauber team, after the veteran Spanish driver secured ninth spot on the grid.
The 38-year-old was a surprise addition to the top-ten shootout, after knocking out McLaren’s Jenson Button.
Subsequently, de la Rosa was full of praise for his team and for the improvements that they had made to the C29 – especially in slower corners.
Meanwhile, Kamui Kobayashi endured a disappointing session, after being eliminated in Q1. Although it was clear that he was held up on his final run, the Japanese driver choose to complain about a lack of grip, when explaining the reasons behind his poor effort.
Subsequently, Kobayashi was also handed a five-place penalty for ignoring a red light which instructed him to into the FIA’s garage to be weighed.
Pedro de la Rosa – 9th: “I am happy with my performance but, more importantly, I am very proud of the team. The car was really good. My position proves how much progress the guys from Hinwil have made with the car, especially to make it quicker in slow corners. They just kept their heads down and worked hard, and they have turned it around. Tomorrow I will try and stay out of trouble at the start and during the first lap, and then I will certainly fight for points.”
Kamui Kobayashi – 18th: “I am very disappointed. We have done a lot of set-up changes since we arrived here, but still I am not happy. To me the car feels strange, different from what I’m used to, and I don’t have any grip. So the situation was quite difficult for me anyway, and then the team was over-optimistic sending me out on the harder tyres for my second run in Q1. I believe on the softer compound I would have managed to get at least to Q2. However, mistakes happen. I obviously went past a red light in the pit lane and missed going to the FIA scales. I just didn’t see it.”
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: “Being ninth was a good performance by Pedro. Congratulation also to the team as it was able to find a very good set-up on a track which we didn’t expect to suit our car. Kamui was blocked twice on his quick laps, which was very unfortunate for him.”
James Key, Technical Director: “At the end it was a mixed day for us. This morning neither driver was able to put their lap times together due to traffic. Looking at the various sector times we were quite confident in the car’s performance, as well as the drivers’. They both reported the car felt better than yesterday. Going into qualifying we did a longer run with the harder tyres on both cars, which looked okay. But on the second run, also on the prime tyres in order to save a set of option tyres, unfortunately Kamui caught some traffic on two of his laps in the final run, which spoilt the laps for him. Nevertheless, had we gone with the softer tyres, I believe he would still have gone through. That was our mistake, and we apologize to Kamui for that. Pedro put in a very good performance that got us through to Q3. It was very close in the end. Ninth is okay, and it is just a few tenths away from the times in front.”