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Worried Sauber 'clearly below expectations'

Sauber's hopes of finishing fifth in the constructors championships took a hit in Texas on Saturday after a qualifying performance that was mysteriously below expectations.
Sauber looked a worried team on Saturday afternoon at the Circuit of the Americas, after qualifying for the 2012 F1 United States Grand Prix saw their drivers slump to 15th and 16th places in Q2.

“We have lost a lot of performance compared to this morning's practice session and at the moment we don't really know why," admitted Sergio Perez, who is something of a local hero this weekend given the proximity of Austin, Texas to his home country of Mexico just across the US border.

"My car tended to oversteer quite a lot in qualifying," admitted Perez. "The track temperature increased a lot, but for me the tyre warm up still wasn't any better ... Perhaps we did not follow the way the track conditions developed in the right direction."

“Without doubt the result is disappointing for us," agreed his Japanese team mate Kamui Kobayashi, who confessed that he'd been expecting better after a solid performance in the practice sessions.

"I found the warm up of the tyres easier this afternoon, but still I could not find the peak performance for the tyres - I just don't know yet why this was," he said. "Tomorrow in the race it should be less of a problem to get the tyres to work, but obviously our grid positions will make it difficult to put in a good result."

Perez couldn't help but feel that his qualifying performance had let down the thousands of Mexicans who had come to support him this weekend.

"I wish I could have done better today, but I will do my very best to give all these people a good race," he said. "I want to thank all the people in the grandstands and especially all the Mexicans, who sacrificed time and money to travel to Austin and bought tickets. In my country you always go with your entire family and I know this is not easy to do because it is an expensive trip."

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn had other reasons to be worried about the team's slump on Saturday, which the team itself admitted had been "clearly below expectations" in its post-session press release.

Sauber is bidding to overtake Mercedes in the constructors championship in order to finish in fifth place in the standings. Currently, Sauber is 12pts behind, but Mercedes have failed to score any championship points in the last four races meaning that Sauber has been gaining ground in the final run to the season finale. But if they're to achieve their objective, they can't afford to stall this weekend in the US.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
16.11.2012 - Free practice 1, Kamui Kobayashi (JAP) Sauber F1 Team C31
16.11.2012 - Monisha Kaltenborn (AUT), CEO and Team Principal, Sauber F1 Team
17.11.2012 - Sergio Pérez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C31
17.11.2012 - Qualifying, Sergio Pérez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C31
16.11.2012 - Free practice 2, Sergio Pérez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C31
Nivelles circuit - Belgian Grand Prix [credit: Google Earth]
Nivelles circuit - Belgian Grand Prix
Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber, 2006 Hungarian GP [Credit: Crash PA]
Sebastian Vettel, BMW Sauber, 2007 United States GP [Credit: Crash PA]
31.07.2016 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Haas F1 Team VF-16 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09
31.07.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
31.07.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
31.07.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Haas F1 Team VF-16
31.07.2016 - Race, Rio Haryanto (IDN) Manor Racing MRT05 and Marcus Ericsson (SUE) Sauber C34
31.07.2016 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 and Rio Haryanto (IDN) Manor Racing MRT05
31.07.2016 - Race, Rio Haryanto (IDN) Manor Racing MRT05 and Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
31.07.2016 - Race, Rio Haryanto (IDN) Manor Racing MRT05 and Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
31.07.2016 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-31

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fastlane66 - Unregistered

November 18, 2012 4:19 PM

I have no doubt about Ferrari powered cars were a bit struggling on Texas GP track. It track design suit to Mercedes and Renault powered car because Ferrari powered cars do not have straight-line speed compare to Mercedes powered cars. Race day will be different story. I hope Sauber will score some points. What happen with Nico Rosberg car? I was surprised by his qualifying times. He may be very disappointed. I believe if Sauber has scored some points in Texas US GP and they have prospect of beat on Mercedes at final round in Brazil GP for fifth place finished in championship points.

LJ - Unregistered

November 18, 2012 4:37 PM

Schumi was driving a new coanda style exhaust, thats the reason he's up there and Rosberg isn't. I hope the Saubers can make their way through on race day, but it's going to be tough without safety cars and a good start. If they want to beat Mercedes in the constructors they better hope they can collectively outscore Schumi.

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