Sauber optimistic of strong showing at Hungaroring
By Berthold Bouman
After their best performance of the season during the German Grand Prix last weekend, Kamui Kobayashi finished fourth and Sergio Perez finished sixth, the Swiss Hinwill-based Sauber team is confident ahead of the last race before the summer break: the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Head of Track Engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara compares the Hungaroring with Monaco. “The Hungaroring is traditionally a high downforce circuit, and it requires almost the same level as Monaco. This is mostly because of the time the drivers spend cornering compared to the time they spend on the straights. So the main focus is on downforce,” said Dall’Ara.
And he added, “The difference to Monaco is that the corners — mainly slow and medium speed — are flowing. Therefore it’s important to work on the balance for these kind of corners.”
Japanese driver Kobayashi also thinks the Sauber will suit the twisty Mickey Mouse track. “The Sauber C31 has proven to be quick on such twisty tracks as well, so I believe we can be strong there. Recently we were struggling a bit in the rain, but in Hungary the weather has been excellent for the majority of the Grand Prix weekends,” he commented.
He’s looking forward to the race, and the one-month summer break, and said, “The Hungarian Grand Prix is the final race before the summer break and therefore it’s particularly important. If you achieve a good result you can enjoy the break a lot more and I think after our strong performance in Hockenheim we have all the chances to manage that.”
Perez also thinks the track is very similar to Monaco, but he still wants Sauber to improve their qualifying pace. “We still have to improve our qualifying performance to get better grid positions as, for one reason or another, it went wrong at the recent races. I am sure our car can be as good at the circuit in Budapest as it was in Hockenheim,” said the Mexican driver.
He too wants to start the summer break on a high, “Last year I made it into Q3 in Hungary and this year we have got a much better car. I will give my utmost this coming weekend. I believe it will be important for the entire team to get in another good result in Hungary because we then disappear into the summer break and we should be able to do that in a positive mood.”
Sauber is currently sixth in the Constructors’ Championship, while Perez and Kobayashi are ninth and tenth in the Drivers’Championship.