At the fourth round of the 2012 FIA Formula One World Championship the Sauber F1 Team was left empty handed for the first time this year.
Sergio Pérez, having started eighth, finished just out of the points by coming in 11th in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Bahrain after he lost the battle against Michael Schumacher. His team mate Kamui Kobayashi, 12th on the grid, crossed the line in 13th position. Both drivers did their best on the track the the C31 did not responded well to the Bahrain desert heat. Sergio Pérez started his race on used soft tyres, and after 9 laps changed them to another set of used soft tyres, then fin lap 21 he switch them for the medium compound. Kamui Kobayashi begun his race on new medium tyres, then after 14 laps changed them to another set of medium tyres, and after that he changed to used soft tyres in lap 31.
Here are some of the selected quotes from the drivers:
Sergio Pérez: “We knew this circuit would not be an easy one for us and we were just too slow today. We tried both strategies and split them between the cars but today there was nothing that could have really helped us. I had a lot of tyre degradation and due to a problem at the pit stop we lost a place and a point to Michael (Schumacher). He was very fast on the straights. I had no chance to get him. Next time we’ll do better again.”
Kamui Kobayashi: “Well, for me the start was too slow. I had too much wheelspin and we will look into that. I started on a set of new medium compound tyres and we tried a two stop strategy but in the end it didn’t work out. The tyres degraded quicker than we hoped and I had to do three stops as well with the last one seven laps before the end. I can’t see anything that we could have actually done better in today’s race. Our problem was a general lack of speed and we will work hard to fix it.“
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “The key point of the race was on lap one when we lost positions. The start was possibly not so good. That’s something we have to look into. From that point on we were unable to recover. With Sergio we had planned a three stop strategy, and we were a bit aggressive with the first stop, but the competition reacted, and we could not benefit. With Kamui we decided to go for a two stop strategy, but in the second stint degradation came earlier than expected, so we had to bring him in. Then the third stint was too long, so he had to make another pitstop. Altogether we were not strong enough today to recover from all that.”
Sources: Sauber F1 Team