Chinese GP team-by-team: Sauber

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The arrival of new technical director James Key at the helm did not bring about an instant change in Sauber’s fortunes: they completed seven laps in China compared to eight in Malaysia.

However that was partly due to Kamui Kobayashi’s elimination in the lap one pile-up, for which he was blameless.

Pedro de la Rosa Kamui Kobayashi
Qualifying position 17 15
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’37.020 (+0.598) 1’36.422
Race position
Average race lap 2’05.886
Laps 7/56 0/56
Pit stops 0 0
Chinese Grand Prix lap times: Sauber (click to enlarge)

Pedro de la Rosa

He was one of few drivers to call the conditions correctly at the start of the race and stayed out on slick tyres. That elevated him to fourth place between Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov.

If his car hadn’t let him down he would probably have finished sixth. But on lap eight his C29 came to a halt.

The team haven’t said what caused the problem, but given they suffered engine problems on both cars in Sepang and de la Rosa said afterwards “I felt there was something wrong with the engine,” they may be being diplomatic.

Compare Pedro de la Rosa’s form against his team mate in 2010

Kamui Kobayashi

Out-qualified his team mate with a healthy margin of almost six tenths of a second. But he was taken out of the race on the first lap by Vitantonio Liuzzi’s out-of-control Force India.

Compare Kamui Kobayashi’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Chinese Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    8 comments on “Chinese GP team-by-team: Sauber”

    1. Well, I feel Kamui’s getting better so all is not lost. Hopefully the C28 doesn’t finish his career. He needs a finish some points an a overtake to get us excited again.

    2. I wonder if there is something about the number 29. The R29 was a dog and the C29 is pretty forgettable.
      Kamui showed some speed and well done to Dlr for the correct call but this team still have someway to go. Nothing seems to be going right for them right now

      1. If that’s the case, I can’t wait to see the MP4/29! :-D

    3. Kamui is improving in every race and I hopr he gets a decent car to compete in the middle.

    4. Prisoner Monkeys
      19th April 2010, 12:24

      Kobayashi was unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of Liuzzi’s gearbox, but I cannot help but think … did he bloom too soon last year?

    5. And still we hear “no worries” from Ferrari on the engine front.
      Is the Sauber electronics and hydraulics that bad, or is the engine running a lot hotter (compared to the BMW) and the plastics and joints just melt away?

    6. Poor Kamui. He really does seem to be improving, despite the highly limited number of actual race laps he’s been able to log so far in what appears to be one of the below average cars on the grid. Hopefully the reliability will be improved by Spain, and we’ll actually get to see what he can pull off in a race. I doubt he’s going to be as impressive as Petrov after China, but I have a feeling he’s probably close to on par with Alguersuari as one of the rookies to watch. Hülkenberg on the other hand has turned out to be one of the disappointments of the year so far.

      1. It also just occurred to me that had it not been for Sauber’s issues, Kobayashi may not have been involved in the Liuzzi incident in the first lap. After an unauthorized gearbox seal change he was given a five place grid penalty and started in 20th, rather than 15th, where he had qualified. That would have put him ahead of Liuzzi, but then again both of the STRs were ahead of Liuzzi and managed to get involved in the crash.

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