Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber Motorsport AG

Monaco GP – Practice – Thursday, 24.05.2012

Weather: sunny and dry in the morning, light rain in the afternoon,

22-24°C air, 26-31°C track

Thursday’s two free practice sessions ahead of the famous Monaco Grand Prix were trouble free for the Sauber F1 Team. Sergio Pérez and Kamui Kobayashi both pronounced themselves happy with the Sauber C31-Ferrari in its high downforce configuration. While the morning was dry and sunny, light showers in the afternoon meant the fans didn’t see as much track action as they had hoped for. The slippery conditions did, however, see several cars visit the escape roads, but thankfully with no damage.

Sergio is racing with a unique helmet design which is dedicated to Roberto Gómez Bolaños at the Monaco Grand Prix. The Mexican writer, actor, director, comedian, humorist, songwriter and poet, who is best known by his stage name “Chespirito”, is a cultural icon all over Latin America as well as being famous in the United States. Despite being severely ill, with the entire nation concerned for his health, the 83-year old had a video conference with Sergio on Monday and thanked him for his support. Two helmets with this special design have been made. One will be handed to Chespirito, Sergio’s idol, and the other will be the first item to be auctioned for the newly founded “Fundacion Checo Pérez”. This foundation will support various projects, and the money raised for the helmet will be for orphans in Mexico. 

Sergio Pérez:

Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056)

1st Practice: 3rd / 1:16.711 min (19 laps) / 2nd Practice: 15th / 1:18.251 min (24 laps)

“The conditions were not ideal to do the work but we are looking good in the wet, so this is positive. In the dry there is some work to do, which we didn’t manage in the morning. However, I am confident as this morning we were very quick, the car is performing well and I think we can be competitive in qualifying on Saturday.”

Kamui Kobayashi:

Sauber C31-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)

1st Practice: 7th / 1:17.038 min (21 laps) / 2nd Practice: 8th / 1:17.153 min (22 laps)

“Everything went smoothly today. The car has definitely improved in the slow corners compared to last year, and this is obviously crucial in Monaco. The balance of the car feels good and I’m pretty confident for the weekend. I just can’t predict how the two tyre compounds will develop in the race because the weather prevented us from doing proper long runs.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:

“Today’s programme was obviously messed up a bit for everyone because of the weather conditions, but we don’t have anything to complain about. We are quite happy with the car’s performance here and we had no incidents or technical issues.”