Sauber is 'hopeful' of returning to form in the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps – the first race back after F1's summer break – with technical director James Key optimistic that the Ardennes circuit's high-speed nature will play to the strengths of the Ferrari-powered C30.
Having failed to score – for only the second time this season, discounting the double Melbourne disqualification – in Hungary just prior to the August hiatus, Sauber is eager to get back on-track in Belgium to consolidate its sixth position in the constructors' standings from an improving Force India F1.
With a lap of slightly over seven kilometres, Spa is the longest layout on the F1 2011 calendar, and Key contends that allied to a specially-tailored new rear wing and updates to the front wing, all the ingredients are in-place for a successful weekend for the Hinwil-based outfit and its two drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Pérez.
“We're looking forward to getting into the next part of the season and going to Spa, which requires a medium-to-low downforce level,” affirmed the Englishman, refreshed after the summer break. “To-date, it will be the lowest downforce level the teams have run, but a lot will depend on the weather conditions, because they are very unpredictable. As always at Spa, we have to monitor the weather closely over the weekend.
“The circuit itself is very popular with the drivers, and a great place to engineer a car. The track is primarily high-speed with long straights and well-known corners; this should suit our car reasonably well. The Pirelli tyres are the soft and the medium compounds. We know from Silverstone that the soft tyre works well with the high-speed corners, but we have some work to do with the medium compound.
“The car will have updates to the front wing and a new rear wing which is Spa-specific. After a difficult race in Hungary, we're hopeful of a better performance in Belgium.”