Podium finish gives Sauber confidence ahead of European Grand Prix
By Berthold Bouman
The third place for Sergio Perez in Montreal, Canada, has spurred on the Swiss Sauber team, who have shown they do have a fast car this season, and a car that is fast on all kinds of circuits. Sauber currently is in sixth position of the Constructors’ Championship, thus leaving their rivals Williams, Force India and Toro Rosso behind them.
Perez likes he sweet smell of success and he wants more. “I enjoyed the Montreal result very much and I want more of that,” said the Mexican driver. Last year Perez returned to racing at Valencia after his heavy crash in Monaco, after skipping the Canadian Grand Prix in which he was so successful this season. He didn’t feel well during the race in 2011, but nevertheless finished in 11th position.
But this season Perez cannot wait to get into the car in Valencia. “I like the track in Valencia a lot and also the atmosphere during the race weekend, as we are quite close to the fans,” he explained. He is certainly confident ahead of the race, “The Valencia street circuit has quite long straights with hard braking into the corners, and what we have learnt from Montreal will be important for that.”
Kamui Kobayashi, who finished in 16th place in last year’s race, really likes it ‘hot’. “In Valencia it is usually very hot. I personally like that, but it is difficult to say what it means for the car and the tyres. It will be tough, that much is certain.” Key issues will be the Pirelli tyres and a good race strategy according to the Japanese driver, and he is looking forward to the race.
“Overtaking is not easy but not impossible either. In 2010 it was actually good fun. You are always quite close to the walls, but after our last two races in Monaco and Montreal this is nothing new,” he said.
Sauber’s Head of Track Engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara agrees with Kobayashi, “Pirelli is supplying us with the medium and the soft compound tyres, which have changed a bit since last year and may need us to look at a slightly different strategy for them.” And added, “Rear degradation could be an issue. Overtaking is not easy on this track, therefore qualifying is of particular importance.”