Sauber pairing Kamui Kobayashi
and Sergio Pérez are revved up to race back into action as F1 2011 resumes from its summer slumber with next weekend's Belgian Grand Prix
at Spa-Francorchamps – confident they can 'pick up the momentum again'.
Discounting the double disqualification in the Melbourne curtain-raiser, only twice in eleven races thus far this year has Sauber failed to trouble the points-scorers – in Valencia in June and then again at the Hungaroring
just prior to the summer break.
Kobayashi – who tallied points in six grands prix in swift succession from Malaysia to Canada – is hopeful that the return to a high-speed layout in the shape of Spa will enable him to replicate the kind of form he displayed at Silverstone last month, where he qualified a season best to-date of eighth.
“Spa is a very beautiful circuit, and one of my favourites,” the Japanese ace enthused. “It has a lot of high-speed corners which should suit our car well, because it has a similar average speed to Silverstone. Normally, the temperatures are not very hot there, so for the tyres it should not be too difficult – but the weather is always very unpredictable, as it was at Silverstone, at the Nürburgring and in Budapest, so this could be another very tricky race.
“Sometimes you are in a situation where you have to decide for which conditions you set up the car before you are sure what the weather will be like. If they are difficult, we have to stay cool in the race and make the right decisions. Then we can score a strong result.”
Those sentiments are broadly echoed by young rookie team-mate Pérez, who took the chequered flag a career-best seventh at Silverstone, and admits that the three weeks of rest since Hungary have enabled him to not only recharge his batteries – but also completely recuperate from his hefty Monaco qualifying shunt back in May.
“After quite a long break when everybody was on holiday, it is nice to get back into the car again and into the race rhythm,” the 21-year-old mused. “I'm very much looking forward to the Belgian Grand Prix. Spa is a very special place. I think we can pick up the momentum again from before the race in Hungary and do well there.
“It is one of my favourite circuits, because I love Eau Rouge and the other fast corners. I won at Spa in F3, and also last year in GP2. Personally, the break was good for me to fully recover from the Monaco accident.”