Kamui Kobayashi said he was confident in the potential of the new Sauber C31 despite seeing his pre-season testing programme end on a low in Catalunya.
The Japanese driver had been working through a busy programme on the final day of running Spain, with a qualifying simulation during the morning being followed by a race simulation and set-up work in the afternoon.
Unfortuntely for Kobayashi, an engine failure forced him to end his programme 90 minutes ahead of schedule, but he said he was confident that Sauber was ready for the start of the new campaign.
“My test programme for today had foreseen several longer breaks for changes to the car but of course not the early end because of the engine,” he said. “These things happen, but I am still happy with our achievements. We did a lot of work to learn about the huge variety of set-up and aero options the new car offers.
“We made progress and of course there is still room for improvement. Personally I have not found the perfect set-up for me yet, at least not for Barcelona; Melbourne might be a different story anyway. I think performance wise we are looking fine and our simulation work for racing was really good. I feel confident, well and fit – and I think we could race tomorrow if we had to.”
Head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall'Ara said he was pleased with the way the team had fought back from some issues early on in testing to prepare well for the year ahead.
“The summary of our pre-season testing is very positive,” he said. “We experienced a bit of a difficult start in Jerez with a few reliability issues but step by step we improved in terms of mileage, set-up, understanding of the car and performance. Both drivers became happier with the car by the end of the day.
“As a team we also practiced procedures and strategies and it worked well. We were lucky with the weather and test conditions too – overall it was a really productive campaign and now it is time to race.”