Sauber duo Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi were left to rue the yellow flag in the latter stages of Q2 after failing to make it into the final stage of qualifying in Korea.
The pair had hoped to maintain the impressive form shown last weekend in Japan, where they qualified inside the top six, but instead had to settle for just twelfth and 13th after both were forced to lift due to the yellow flags thrown when Daniel Ricciardo stopped on track in Q2.
Perez was the quicker of the pair in the session to share the sixth row of the grid with Jenson Button and he admitted there was disappointment at not being higher up the order.
“It is a shame, as we were so close to getting into Q3 but, of course, I had to back off because of the yellow flags in the last sector,” he said. “Well, the positive side is that we have saved a set of fresh tyres for the race. In any case it will be an interesting one because I could not do long runs in free practice to the extent I wanted to.”
Kobayashi, who starts one place further back, was also confident he could have made it into Q3 without the yellow flag.
“I would have been easily five tenths faster but I had to back off when the yellow flags came out,” he said. “I am quite disappointed, especially as we had improved the car for Q2. In Q1 initially I had problems with oversteer, but our set up changes worked out nicely. However, here we have a track which allows overtaking and the race is always a different story.”
Sauber had worked hard overnight to improve its cars after a difficult start to the weekend in Friday practice and team boss Monisha Kaltenborn said he was confident that both drivers would still be able to impress on race day.
“We showed a strong performance today, which was not rewarded because both our drivers had to slow down due to the yellow flags in the last corner,” she said. “They both delivered a strong qualifying and, based on the long runs we did yesterday, I'm confident we can have a strong race tomorrow.”