Chinese Grand Prix Preview – Sauber

It’s an upbeat Sauber F1 Team that is packing its Sauber C-30 Ferrari cars away in Malaysia and heading to next weekend‘s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. The four points the team scored in Sepang for Kamui Kobayashi finishing eighth has kicked started its 2011 season and moved it to sixth in the constructors’ championship.

3rd Round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, 15th to 17th April 2011

Kamui Kobayashi (car no 16):
“For me it is an exciting track and I have always had good results there in whatever I have driven. Last year it was not brilliant as I was the innocent victim in an accident immediately after the start. However, I hope this year we have good performances from qualifying and the race, as this is what we have to do there. China is a very big country and it is close to Japan. I like the food there, so I always enjoy going there and find it interesting. The circuit is very big and it is a shame it is so far away from the centre of Shanghai. I would not be confident to drive on their roads as I a little bit scared of their driving.”

Sergio Pérez (car no 17):
“The Shanghai circuit is quite a challenging one, and I would say similar to Sepang. I know it from two races I competed in. This was an A1GP race back in 2007 and a round of GP2 Asia in 2009. I especially like the very fast straight with its hard braking point at the end. I hope I can do better there in qualifying than I did in Malaysia, but my main goal is to learn and get more experience. I enjoyed my times in Shanghai a lot, I’m looking forward to my third visit there and can’t wait to take the F1 car around that circuit.”

Technical Director James Key:
“With the small gap between Malaysia and China we are not planning to bring too many updates to the car, but we will have a few things to try. It is amazing for me going back to China, as it was the first race I had with the team last year, and a year has just flown past. I think, given the nature of the track, at the moment it could be quite good for our car. The track has some interesting challenges. It has a long straight at the back, some quite tricky slow speed corners in the middle of the lap and there are these unwinding and winding in profiles of corners, which are important for traction and braking stability, particularly under lateral load. It will be interesting to see how the tyres cope and the car copes with that, with much depending on how the weather conditions are. I think what we have seen between Melbourne and Kuala Lumpur is, with different track temperatures and surfaces, the tyres have behaved in quite a different way to what was expected. It will be interesting to see if that trend continues in China, or whether it will be a bit more predictable. Obviously the hope is we can continue to fight for points and show a decent level of performance.”

Circuit: Shanghai International Circuit / 5.451 km
Race distance: 56 laps / 305.066 km
Schedule: Qualifying 14:00 hrs, Race 15:00 hrs local time (07:00 hrs GMT)

Kamui Kobayashi
Born: 13.09.1986 Amagasaki (JP)
Marital status: Single
Height / Weight: 1.68 m / 58 kg
First GP: Brazil 2009, finished 9th
GP started: 23
Best race result: 2 x 6th (UAE 2009, GBR 2010)
Best qualifying: 2 x 9th (MAL 2010, AUS 2011)
Fastest race laps: –
Points in total: 39 (3 in 2009, 32 in 2010)
Points in 2011: 4

Sergio Pérez
Born: 26.01.1990 Guadalajara (MX)
Marital status: Single
Height / Weight: 1.73 m / 63 kg
First GP: Australia 2011 (7th/disqualified)
GP started: 2
Best race result: 7th (AUS 2011/disqualified)
Best qualifying: 13th (AUS 2011)
Fastest race laps: –
Points in total: –
Points in 2011: –