Korean Grand Prix Preview – Sauber

The Sauber F1 Team leaves the Japanese Grand Prix with mixed feelings. While Kamui Kobayashi couldn’t finish higher up than 13th after having a problem at the start, his team mate Sergio Pérez fought his way through from 17th on the grid to finish in eighth place. On his way he also set the second fastest race lap, which proved the new aero package on the Sauber C30-Ferrari was a significant improvement. Accordingly the team is now full of confidence as it heads to the Korean Grand Prix, which only takes place for the second time this year. The team’s target is to reduce the gap to sixth position in the constructors’ world championship.

16th of 19 Rounds of the FIA Formula One World Championship, 14-16 October 2011

Kamui Kobayashi (car number 16):
“The race last year was pretty difficult because the track was wet, had very low grip and very poor visibility. I like the track with its interesting layout. The high speed and medium speed corners should suit our car well. We know from last year that tyre management is crucial. I quite like the fact that Korea is so close to my home country. I hope the weather conditions will be stable this year and we will have an exciting race. With the aero update we introduced in Suzuka, we should be competitive, and I’m confident that we can fight for points there.”

Sergio Pérez (car number 17):
“I have not been to Korea before, and I have heard various stories from people in the paddock about last year’s race. I always like to get to know new places, which naturally is happening quite a few times this year because it is my first Formula One season. I have actually trained on the Korean track in the simulator. It has a lot of challenging high speed corners, and it is not an easy one to learn. In any case we have to use every chance to improve, and hopefully we can catch Force India in the championship.”

James Key, Technical Director:
“We have got some quite good memories of Korea from last year. It’s obviously a neat track. It took a bit of work with the very low grip levels on the very fresh tarmac, but, once the track rubbered in, it turned out to be a good circuit which the drivers liked. It seemed to be quite technical with two long straights, but then you’ve got the relatively winding sector towards the end of the lap, and then some high speed corners before the last straight. So it’s a really good mix of corner speeds that will probably require quite a different set-up compared to what we were using in Suzuka. Last year it was extremely wet, therefore we haven’t experienced a full race distance in the dry, so we don’t fully know what to expect from the tyres, which will be the super soft and the soft compounds. We don’t know how green the track will be in the beginning, so we’ll have to see the track evolution during the weekend and try to allow for that. Concerning the car, we will continue to develop the package we introduced in Suzuka. We’ll have some small additional follow up development items for introduction in Korea. I hope we can carry on the momentum we found in Suzuka.”

Please note:
On Saturday the team’s reserve driver, Esteban Gutièrrez, will be available for a Q&A session on twitter between 10:00 and 10:45 hrs on the team’s channel: http://twitter.com/OfficialSF1Team

Circuit: Korea International Circuit / 5.615 km
Race distance: 55 laps / 308.630 km
Schedule: Qualifying 14:00 hrs, Race 15:00 hrs local time (05:00/06:00 hrs GMT)

Kamui Kobayashi
Born: 13.09.1986 Amagasaki (JP)
Marital status: Single
Height / Weight: 1.68 m / 58 kg
First GP: Brazil 2009 (9th)
GP started: 36
Best race result: 5th (Monaco 2011)
Best qualifying: 8th (Silverstone 2011)
Fastest race laps: –
Points in total: 62 (3 in 2009, 32 in 2010)
Points in 2011: 27 (12th overall)

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: 13
Best race result: 7th (Silverstone 2011)
Best qualifying: 9th (Spa 2011)
Fastest race laps: –
Points in total: 13
Points in 2011: 13 (15th overall)

With 40 points the Sauber F1 Team is currently 7th in the Constructors‘ Championship