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Italian GP: Sauber duo far off the pace at Monza


By Berthold Bouman

During qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix one week ago, Sauber was very fast, and after their first-corner elimination during Sunday’s race caused by Romain Grosjean, the Hinwill-based team had hoped for an equal qualifying performance at Monza, but Kamui Kobayashi qualified ninth, and Sergio Perez in 13th place this afternoon.

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber

“Well, we don’t have the same pace here as we did last week in Spa, which made it a tough qualifying. Having said this, I am happy to have reached the first target which was to get through to Q3,” commented Kobayashi.

And the Japanese driver added, “After the third free practice session this morning we changed the car’s settings quite a lot and this paid off in qualifying, I got confidence in the car back. My lap time in Q2 was really good — half a second quicker than in Q3 — and to me this was the maximum possible.”

Perez agreed it had been a somewhat disappointing qualifying session, “We knew it would be tight to make it into the top ten today, but I was fighting hard. We have improved the car quite a lot since. On my last attempt in Q2 unfortunately I was driving too close behind Bruno Senna and could not improve my lap time. I lost two tenths of a second in the first sector.”

Head of Track Engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara said, “In qualifying we made it quite easily through Q1,and then it was really down to the drivers. Our performance was very close to some other competitors, so it was really a matter of fractions to be in or out of the top ten and so be further up or back down the grid. I’m confident we can have a good race from these positions.”

Sauber CEO Monisha Kaltenborn was nevertheless pleased with the result, “We are quite happy with the qualifying result, because we knew the Monza track characteristics would be challenging for our car. However, we are in a good starting position and are looking forward to a strong race.”

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