After struggling throughout practice, Sergio Perez felt he had taken a step forward in qualifying, however he will only line up in fourteenth place at the Hungaroring with team mate Kamui Kobayashi in fifteenth, as Sauber struggled to get to grips with the demanding circuit.
Following a difficult Friday, Sauber anticipated that they were in for a tough session in qualifying for the eleventh round of F1 2012, and so it proved, with Perez missing out on making the shootout by four places, however the time difference of around two tenths of a second suggested that the young Mexican had made a step forward from practice.
“Basically this was all that was possible for us today," he said. "For some reason all weekend we have been struggling with the balance of the car and how to understand the tyres on this track. I feel on my car we made a big step forward in regard to the balance between free practice this morning and qualifying.
“Q1 actually didn't look bad at all, but the car still behaved inconsistently and in Q2 it was so difficult to put a perfect lap together that I didn't make it into Q3.”
Despite being just one place ahead of his team mate, the time difference of 0.405s suggested that one Sauber at least had made inroads into their problems.
By contrast, Kobayashi was in trouble all the way through qualifying, and it took a last gasp effort in Q1 to move through to the second session. The Japanese star never threatened to progress into the shootout, and was left frustrated afterwards.
“Well, after we have been struggling in all free practice sessions since we got here the qualifying result doesn't come as a complete surprise," he said. "We don't understand why we can't manage to get the tyres to work at this track, and this goes for both compounds as I can't find the grip I need. It will be another tough race for us because overtaking is particularly difficult here.”
by Philip Barclay