Kamui Kobayashi hopes to register his first finish of 2010 in the Spanish Grand Prix:
We have an update to the car and I believe our reliability problems are solved. I should have a good chance to finally go racing after I have only done 19 laps in total in all four races.
Despite having to get their reliability under control – Sauber have only registered one finish so far this year – the team are planning several performance upgrades for Barcelona.
They intend to have their version of McLaren’s F-Duct up and running as technical director James Key explains:
We have some updates for Barcelona, as most of the teams will have. We are trying to push our F-Duct design a step further. This is obviously a technology that will eventually appear all the way down the grid during the year, but our team has some experience of it from the first events.
Additionally we have a package of updates on the car, which are particularly on the front end and the diffuser. It’s a decent package, which will hopefully allow us to find some more performance.
Obviously a lot depends on how tough the competition is. Some of the steps address the issues the team has identified in terms of the aero characteristics, so it should make the car a little bit better purely through changing the way it behaves.
Kobayashi’s team mate Pedro de la Rosa is looking forward to racing at his first of two home races next week:
I grew up in the city centre of Barcelona, and I certainly love my home town. You have everything there – a lively city, the sea, the mountains and a permanently good climate. I’m very much looking forward to this race!
My parents always had a summer house close to where the circuit is. From 1991 onwards I loved to listen to the fabulous sound of the Formula One engines from there when teams where testing. Also in 1991 I raced in Formula Renault in the first event at the Circuit de Catalunya.
My first Formula One Grand Prix there was in 1999. The circuit has become the best test track for Formula One. It is a very demanding circuit – tough on the cars, the engines and the drivers. It is a track I really, really like.
Turn three is very fast and very long – it is a true neck killer. There is a great variety of corners – high and medium speed, and a couple of slow ones in the last sector.
Pedro de la Rosa
Kobayashi says he’s also a fan of the Barcelona circuit:
I know the Circuit de Catalunya pretty well. I won a GP2 race there, raced there in Formula 3 and did some Formula One testing there. Even my first ever F1 test was in Barcelona.
In those days the last two corners were different to now, as it was a very fast double right hander. The circuit is very demanding on the cars and challenging for us drivers. The car-and-driver combination has to be very good, as it is difficult but crucial to get the set-up right. The fast right hander before the back straight is my favourite corner and quite challenging.