Pedro de la Rosa looked set to land Sauber’s first points of the season, until his race was blighted by tyre degradation – allowing Schumacher and Alguersuari through.
Kamui Kobayashi’s race ended in dramatic fashion, after the young Japanese driver suffered a front wing failure and collided with the Williams of Nico Hulkenberg.
Pedro de la Rosa – 12th: “For a while the race went okay, I managed to stay out of trouble and there was a good chance to get our first points. But, I’m afraid, we underestimated the tyre degradation. In the end I really had no rear tyres left. For the last 15 laps it was just a question of how to keep the car on the track. I was absolutely helpless when Michael and Jaime came in the end to overtake me.”
Kamui Kobayashi – DNF: “It looks as if I touched a kerb or another car in turn three. Everything was very close and I don’t really remember anything major, but on the data it looks like there was something. I had no worries about the front wing, but a few corners later it went off and got stuck under the car. At first I had no idea what had happened. I had no control anymore.”
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: “Looking at how the race evolved, it’s a disappointing result. For a third of the race Pedro was able to defend ninth against Rubens Barrichello, but then he lost out, and in the penultimate lap he was also passed by Michael Schumacher and Jaime Alguersuari. Kamui’s race didn’t even last one lap. Following contact with another car his front wing broke, and he went off, unfortunately hitting other competitors.”
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: “It was a race start under difficult conditions. Kamui most probably had contact with another car and damaged his front wing. As a result the front wing broke in the braking zone of corner 6, and Kamui went off. Pedro won positions after the start, and we made the change from intermediates to slicks at the right moment. Our strategy was to finish the race with this set of tyres, which – looking at the overall result – was the right decision. However, the tyres degraded too much, and the lap times were not consistent enough, therefore we lost our chance to finish the race in ninth.”