Sauber: Two-stop gamble fails for Kobayashi

2011 Hungarian GP team review

Posted on

| Written by

Kobayashi made an unsuccessful attempt to do half the race distance on a set of super-softs.

Kamui KobayashiSergio Perez
Qualifying position1310
Qualifying time comparison (Q2)1’22.435 (+0.278)1’22.157
Race position1115
Pit stops33

Sauber drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

Kamui Kobayashi123.955111.625110.482107.976105.911104.797104.362103.107103.174102.124101.983103.987120.36495.46192.95391.32290.73689.83289.69189.52489.97789.66489.57489.33189.35589.33789.71389.14288.12588.38988.79488.84589.81292.831108.41186.97187.98788.45287.88888.40188.3588.19988.37287.87788.15493.05392.94290.52197.131100.71798.06495.41891.81289.92490.56490.98689.40789.00790.59689.96991.63196.874104.85485.41584.66485.25285.23785.35786.685
Sergio Perez128.355116.693111.673109.847107.462107.193106.267104.946101.875102.921102.599104.283119.46394.26792.73491.99793.26391.85991.01491.07891.16291.73191.93492.838108.88188.59390.67788.75989.1890.73888.35590.82699.69187.56487.59789.76688.04988.54289.96889.36488.76389.20590.57193.274112.88990.57590.411110.729121.292100.79990.4788.45386.15686.53585.74587.92288.75690.03289.88591.36693.786.62186.32886.09185.4685.34284.99985.947
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Hungaroring, 2011

Kamui Kobayashi

Kobayashi said he felt the car had improved between practice and qualifying but missed out on Q3.

He rose from 13th to tenth at the start and was the only driver to switch to soft tyres at his first stop. He spent the next stint holding off Rubens Barrichello, Vitaly Petrov and the two Toro Rossos.

Kobayashi dropped behind them when he finally pitted again on lap 34, taking on a set of super-softs.

But he climbed back up the order, staying out as the rain came down: “When the second lot of rain came the team briefly thought about calling me to the pits to pick up intermediate tyres but I didn’t want to because I found the track was improving,” he said.

By now Kobayashi had the remaining points scorers queued up behind him, and 12th-placed Vitaly Petrov so far back he could easily pit and come out in front of the Renault.

This appears to have been why the team left him out in the hope that his tyres might last (for what would have been 36 laps) and he could score some points. But it didn’t work out that way.

First Paul di Resta came by on lap 60. Two laps later Sebastien Buemi took him at the first corner. The other Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari clattered into the Sauber, spinning off and damaging Kobayashi’s rear wing end plate.

Only after Nico Rosberg and Alguersuari had relegated him from the top ten did the team finally bring him in. he duly emerged in 11th, right in front of Petrov, but with too few laps left and too much time to make up to score any points.

Kamui Kobayashi 2011 form guide

Sergio Perez

Made his second appearance in Q3 and, once again, didn’t set a time having reached the final ten. But unlike at Monaco, where he had his dreadful crash, this time the decision was tactical to save tyres.

But he didn’t stay there long – he lost ten places on the first lap: “I had no grip at all and hardly managed to keep the car on track,” he said.

“I went wide at one corner and lost a lot of positions. I actually dropped back from 10th on the grid to 20th.

“At that time I was slower than the slowest cars and I hope we find the reason why this was so extreme.”

Perez made matters worse for himself by passing Heikki Kovalainen under waved yellow flags – though he was able to stay ahead of Lotus even after taking his penalty.

Braving the late rain shower without stopping for intermediates allowed him to take a place off Pastor Maldonado, but he finished in 15th behind Adrian Sutil.

Sergio Perez 2011 form guide

2011 Hungarian Grand Prix

    Browse all 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix articles

    Image © Sauber F1 Team

    Author information

    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...

    Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

    9 comments on “Sauber: Two-stop gamble fails for Kobayashi”

    1. This time the strategy clearly didn’t pay off, but it was at least entertaining to see the drivers trying to scrabble past the kamui. Boy can that guy battle

      1. There were drivers who had been lapped by him (like Sutil) right behind him, battling evenly with the others that were one lap ahead, then came Webber and Hamilton and the drama increased!

    2. Why didn’t they just put a set of softs on his last stint. I thought you didn’t have to do both compounds in wet conditions?

      1. No, you don’t.

        Well they would have been trying to benefit from the higher level of grips but it just seems Kamui couldn’t turn them on. I doubt the track temperature helped his cause much.

    3. Well – Kobayashi’s now had one poor race throughout the entire season… and it wasn’t even too bad! He was a sitting duck on that strategy though and they pack still struggled to pass him! Well done!

      Perez had quite a bad race also, his penalty was fair enough, rules are rules and it was slightly silly of him.

      I hope they can bounce back in Spa – but I think they’ll struggle for points, especially with Force India’s recent form at Spa!

    4. Certainly a disappointing result for Sauber, but hopefully they will be back in the points at Spa.

    5. Tyre savers

    6. Brundle’s comment saying he was wondering if their contracts made them pay for their own tyres was funny. But that was the only funny thing about it.

      I don’t see why they wouldn’t pit him when he could easily do so and fight for points. He could have finished 7th if they’d not tried to gamble on their tyre conservation.

      Oh well. In all, probably the first time they dropped the ball on strategy this year, so not too bad in that respect I guess.

    7. I hate to admite it but force india will pass sauber at the constructures championship.
      Reason spa is next and we now what happen last two years

    Comments are closed.