The Sauber team endured another miserable afternoon today in the Canadian Grand Prix at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and once get suffered a double DNF.
It was the fifth time this year the former BMW-owned outfit has failed to get a single car to the chequered flag.
Kamui Kobayashi was the first to go out, when he crashed out at 'champions wall' on the opening lap. The Japanese driver had made a strong start and had battled his way up from 18th to 10th, when it all went wrong on the back straight while challenging for P9.
“This should not have happened. I had made a very good start from 18th and on the first lap was fighting with Nico Hülkenberg down the back straight for ninth,” Kobayashi explained. “In front of us was Michael Schumacher, apparently having some troubles with braking before the chicane. All three of us were braking late and then I suddenly had nowhere to go. I hit the kerb, the car jumped and I had damaged it so badly that I had to stop.”
Team-mate Pedro de la Rosa's afternoon wasn't much better and the Spaniard had to pit for a new nose on the first lap after he was hit by Renault's Vitaly Petrov. He then fought his way back to 13th, before his engine cried enough and he retired on lap 31.
“To be left empty handed certainly is deeply disappointing,” said the ex-McLaren tester. “On the first lap of the race Vitaly Petrov spun in front of me on the straight, and hit my car when he came back from the grass. The front wing was broken and I pitted for a new nose. Also the rear wing had some damage, but it wasn't too bad.
“I then continued and the car was quite good. We anticipated my pit stop because suddenly the rear tyres went. After this pit stop it seemed all okay but then on lap 31 I felt a sudden loss of top speed on the straight and knew immediately it was a serious problem.”
Sauber technical director, James Key and team boss, Peter Sauber meanwhile were again left frustrated, especially as the Swiss-squad had hoped it had turned a corner in Turkey two weeks ago when they finished 10th and 11th.
“All in all it was a really difficult weekend and a shame not to get to the end,” Key stated. “Pedro had a collision in the mix of the first corner, which damaged his rear right tyre and front wing, so he had to come straight in. Kamui made an excellent start. He took advantage of the situation in front of him and got up to tenth. But then in the last corner he spun off – that was the end of his race. There was too much damage to the car to continue, which was a real shame because there was potential to score some points.
“When Pedro went out after his early pit stop his pace was extremely good, and he caught up to the people ahead of him. He then came in for a second stop because of the tyres degrading. We hoped he would make it to the end but then he had an engine problem which we need to diagnose. That was a pointless end to a difficult weekend, so we have to do better in the next race.”
Peter Sauber added: “As is often the case in Canada, it was easy to score championship points today, however, we didn't collect them. We lost one car which was in tenth at the end of lap one through an over optimistic move, and the second one through an engine failure.”