Sauber's Nick Heidfeld made a promising start to the F1 2010 Brazilian Grand Prix today at Interlagos.
Heidfeld, who was tenth in the first session, improved in the second, finishing the day seventh quickest overall on a 1 minute 33.222 seconds, which put him ahead of both Mercedes GP cars and left him just 0.016 seconds off Jenson Button, who was one spot in front in his McLaren.
“I am quite satisfied because I didn't expect us to be that strong here, and the lap time isn't on the edge yet,” Heidfeld revealed. “The long runs were even better than eighth fastest. I feel here I made a step forward with the set up of the car.”
Kamui Kobayashi in contrast was not so pleased, and he finished the day in twelfth. He also had an off at the end of the first session due to a puncture, a result of running over some debris.
“I think our general performance is quite good, but I'm not yet happy with my car,” Kobayashi reflected. “We have to find the right balance, as it is too understeery.
"Also I expected a bit more grip from the option tyres. At least the puncture at the end of the first session didn't cost track time, and we have completed our programme as planned.”
Sauber's technical director James Key added: “We had no development items to test, so it was just a case of setting up the car for both drivers. The track's grip came in quickly this morning, and was already quite consistent in free practice 1. We scanned the downforce levels, and we are happy with what we have now established.
“In the afternoon we evaluated the tyres. It looks like we have to work a little bit on the prime tyres to fully understand how they are behaving when warming up, and then also with longevity. The option tyres seem to be fairly consistent, and both drivers did a better lap time on them.
“Nick seems to be reasonably happy with the car. Kamui's got a few more balance issues that we will work on overnight. Overall it was a useful day for us,” Key concluded.