With the championship victors now decided, one of the remaining points of interest in 2011 is the multi million dollar battle among F1’s non-top four teams.
“I am very disappointed,” said Peter Sauber tol Blick newspaper after qualifying in India. “I was expecting more from the car and from the drivers.”
Kamui Kobayashi failed to speed out of Q1, and teammate Sergio Perez will start even further behind after receiving a grid penalty for ignoring yellow flags. The Swiss team, seventh in the championship, is just three points ahead of the rapidly-improving Toro Rosso, whose drivers are both in the top ten for Sunday’s race.
The junior Red Bull team has been streaking forwards with its blown diffuser, a technology abandoned by Sauber after the FIA’s banning saga in July.
“Sauber are not our opponents,” admitted Force India team manager Otmar Szafnauer. The Silverstone based team is sixth in the points standings, nine ahead of Sauber and 12 ahead of Toro Rosso.
For Toro Rosso, the difference between eighth and sixth is many millions of dollars, distributed according to the tables in the confidential Concorde Agreement.
“We need to worry about Toro Rosso,” Force India’s Szafnauer told the Sonntagsblick newspaper.