Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi were disappointed with their qualifying efforts, after failing to set a time anywhere near the top ten.
After a positive pre-season, the Sauber team had been expected to fly around the Sakhir circuit. However, this did not appear to be the case in qualifying, with both drivers struggling to overcome the bumps in the new section of the track.
Spaniard de la Rosa was a disappointing fourteenth on his return to Formula One, with his team-mate worse off in sixteenth.
Pedro de la Rosa (14th): “I can’t say I’m satisfied because before we came here we expected to be a bit higher up. But we already knew yesterday this is a bad track for us with the new infield. I have to blame myself for losing a couple of tenths, because I made mistakes on my very last lap when I just pushed too hard because at this time there wasn’t much to lose. So this was not good and it will be a tough race tomorrow for the drivers and teams, especially in terms of tyre management. I’m afraid they will overheat from lap one. Well, despite not being happy with the result, in a way I have to say I still enjoyed my first qualifying after three years.”
Kamui Kobayashi (16th): “After winter testing we thought we would be quicker, but we are really struggling with the bumpy new part of the track. Of course the temperatures are much higher here, which is also something new as we now see what the effect is between the car and the tyres. We have to work really hard for improvements. Tomorrow’s race will be hard but I still hope our car will not be hard on the tyres and we can move up a bit. There is always a chance for points.”
Peter Sauber, Team Principal: “After our promising testing I expected more from the first qualifying of the season. The problems with this track, which we had already seen yesterday, could not be solved for qualifying.”
Willy Rampf, Technical Director: “Based on the results in winter testing our goal was to get one car into Q3. However, we missed that by a big margin. We will now try to make up positions in the race using the right strategic options which are now allowed by the new rules. Before the next races we have to improve the car significantly.”