Kamui Kobayashi made sure that he banished the memories of a disastrous Monaco Grand Prix weekend to break into the top-ten shootout for the first time in his career.
The Japanese driver will start from tenth on the grid for tomorrow’s Turkish Grand Prix and believes that his competitiveness was due to the set up changes which his team made to his car throughout the build up to qualifying.
Pedro de la Rosa could not follow his team-mate’s lead and had to settle for thirteenth on the grid. Despite this, the veteran Spaniard is confident that Sauber will have consistent pace in the race tomorrow.
Kamui Kobayashi – 10th: “I’m really happy to be in Q3 for the third time. Especially after Monaco, this is very important for the team. We are back on the pace we had in Barcelona. For me driving here was much better on Saturday than on Friday, as set-up changes as well as conditions played a role. In Q3 I could not fight because we hadn’t a fresh set of option tyres left, as we had already used them all. However, we kept working hard and apparently it pays off.”
Pedro de la Rosa – 13th: “Overall we have made progress. The balance of the car in general was very good. It was actually best on the harder Prime tyres, therefore I could not get the extra grip out of the softer Option compound. My last lap, I have to say, wasn’t brilliant. I lost some time in the final sector. I believe we have quite a consistent car for the race, because our long runs in free practice were good. Also I regard it as an advantage to have a grid position on the clean side of the track, as with all the dust here this really makes a difference.”
Peter Sauber, Team Principal:“Looking at our performance, it’s obvious we are back on track. This is a great achievement for the drivers and the team. Kamui’s P9 in Q2 in particular is a fantastic result. Looking at who was behind him in Q2, he can really be proud of his lap. Congratulations to everybody in the team.”
James Key, Technical Director:“That was a good day for the team. We made some good progress in the areas we knew we needed to improve from yesterday, which seemed to work pretty well. In the morning session Pedro was much happier with the balance of his car, and that was reflected in the lap times. We still had some work to do with Kamui’s car, however, we did a few changes between FP3 and qualifying which also paid off. It’s great to be back in Q3 which is what we hoped for. Kamui did a great job, as he put in an excellent lap and really picked up his pace in qualifying. It was also a very good session from Pedro, but it was a great shame he couldn’t make it to Q3, because by rights he could have been there. He had a set of new options left, which sadly Kamui didn’t, so his lap was compromised. But both drivers showed a strong performance, and we can look forward to a good race tomorrow.”