Sauber pair Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez say they are confident of a strong weekend at Monza, despite admitting that the Italian Grand Prix isn't one that will be easy for the Hinwil-based team.
The team goes into the Monza weekend keen to bounce back from a failure to score at Spa, where Kobayashi could only manage twelfth place and Perez was forced to retire with an axle issue.
Kobayashi endured a tough weekend in Italy last year after failing to finish the race but said he was hoping for better this time around even if finding the ideal set-up for the challenges provided by the Monza circuit will be far from straightforward.
“Monza will be challenging, we have to find the best possible set-up for the car and see how fast we can go on the long straights,” he said. “Last year we qualified 12th, which wasn't too bad, because we expected difficulties there. Hopefully the race this year can be better. Last year I didn't manage to do the race because I had a technical problem, and I retired on my first lap after starting from the pit lane. But this year I am quite confident of doing a good race.
“I like Monza. I have driven quite a lot there because I did Formula Renault Italia. I have also done GP2, but that wasn't nice as I remember there was a lot of rain then. Anyway, I like the track and the town, as there are a couple of nice restaurants, it is quite close to Milan and it is always nice to go there as well.”
Team-mate Perez has been successful in the past at Monza during his progression up the motorsport ladder, and the Mexican said he was looking forward to racing at the circuit in F1 machinery for the first time.
“I'm very much looking forward to the Italian Grand Prix,” he said. “The track in Monza is one of my favourites. There I did what I regard as my best race weekend so far. It was in Formula 3 when I qualified 14th and won both races. In 2007 and 2008 I raced there in F3 and then also in GP2.
“The very long straights in Monza could be tough for us. I want to maintain a good rhythm with positive performances in qualifying and for the start. Then, of course, I want to finish the race and score points for the team. It is my aim to finish the European season on a high.
“The race weekend there always has a very special atmosphere, and I can't wait to take part for the first time in the Formula One Grand Prix. I like the people in Italy a lot and, of course, I'm a fan of Italian food.”