He might not have emulated his team-mate's headline-grabbing antics from the previous day, but Kamui Kobayashi made sure of another solid day's testing for Sauber in Barcelona on Wednesday, with more than 100 laps on the board as the clock ticks down towards Melbourne.
On Tuesday, Sergio Pérez had astonished observers by leaping to the top of the timesheets towards the close of play to snatch the fastest time away from Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber by almost a second-and-a-half – before it transpired that the young Mexican rookie had in actual fact cut the chicane to avoid a slower car in front of him, with Sauber technical director James Key confessing to Auto Motor und Sport
that 'to do that time would have been impossible'.
Nonetheless, the 21-year-old's best legitimate marker still placed him a competitive fourth after 90 laps of the Circuit de Catalunya as he evaluated new components for the C30 including a new front wing and heat towers on the sidepods. Pérez admitted afterwards that he is eagerly anticipating the Melbourne curtain-raiser at the end of the month, with a top ten finish – not to mention Kobayashi – firmly in his sights.
“The morning session was quite positive with all the updates we have here,” he affirmed. “The afternoon started over an hour late for us because of a hydraulic leak, but in the end we managed to recover a bit. On Thursday, I will be focussing on getting ready for the race in Melbourne, and it is my goal to beat Kamui as soon as possible. He is a fast guy with a year's more experience [of] knowing what you need to drive a racing car fast.”
Kobayashi, for his part, spent today continuing his team-mate's work, getting through a total of 107 laps en route
to the seventh-quickest time of the eleven drivers present.
“It was an interesting and productive day for me, and we completed our programme as planned,” reported the Japanese ace. “We achieved a good mileage and learnt a lot. The set-up work with the new car is different to last year's car, and it is good to get more experience with that. In the afternoon, the way the track evolved was quite significant, and we struggled a bit with adapting the car and finding the right balance – but this is nothing to worry about.”
“Generally [Tuesday] was a good day of work despite a few problems after the lunch break,” concluded Key. “We had our start-of-season package on the car, with a lot of new parts for both tidying up areas on the car and improving its performance. It is a significant aero package, and it generally worked.
“We spent the morning evaluating new parts and carrying out back-to-back comparisons and aero measurements. In the afternoon, we then worked on set-up changes to adapt to the new package and tyres – and so far we have seen reasonably positive results. Unfortunately for Sergio, he had traffic on his fastest lap towards the end of the day, but this is nothing to complain about.
“Today, we ran a similar programme to yesterday to allow Kamui to evaluate the new parts on the car and give us his feedback. We ran various set-up options to check their effectiveness, and to help us to learn more about future development directions. In the afternoon we also did a little bit of work dedicated to the tyres, and again gained some valuable data. Now we are looking forward to doing race simulations with both drivers – with Sergio tomorrow and Kamui on Friday.”
To see Wednesday's testing times in full, click here