Interview with Peter Sauber

Interview with Peter Sauber

21 April 2011 – Peter Sauber's Hinwil-based squad has enjoyed a much more positive time on-track this year compared to the early season difficulities of 2010, with seven points currently on the board after the first three 'flyaway' races. The 67-year-old discusses these promising results, his driver line-up and the new-for-2011 Drag Reduction System (DRS) among other topics ahead of the next round in Turkey.

How would you assess the first three races from the Sauber F1 Team’s point of view? 

This season we wanted to have a car that would be both competitive and reliable from the outset - and we have clearly achieved this initial aim. If it hadn’t been for the oversight with the rear wings in Melbourne, our points total would be excellent; as it is, seven points is still okay. The important thing is that in each race we have been in a position to fight for World Championship points on merit. However, the race in Shanghai also showed that the competition is getting tougher.

It will therefore now be even more important to continue making improvements. Several teams have announced they will be bringing extensive development packages to the next race in Istanbul, and that could certainly shake up the order once again. We have a larger update scheduled for the race in Barcelona.

Does this mean your aims for the season have changed? 

No, that’s not the case. It remains our aim to collect points in every race and improve our position in the Constructors’ World Championship.

How happy are you with your rookie driver Sergio Pérez? 

We knew that in Sergio we were getting a quick, young driver. Even so, with a rookie you never have a guarantee that he will be able to call on his full potential under the pressure of a race weekend. I had high expectations of Sergio, and I have to say that so far he has actually exceeded these. He not only has the ability to look after his tyres extremely well, but also drives very consistently in the races. 

However, Sergio is also well aware that he is at the beginning of a long learning process, part of which will be incidents like the ones last Sunday in Shanghai. I’m in no doubt that Sergio will maximise his huge potential step by step. The critical factor here is that he feels comfortable within the team and has an environment which helps him to develop as well as possible.

How has Kamui Kobayashi risen to the challenge of his new role as team leader? 

As a general point, I would like to emphasise that our drivers are given equal treatment. But when a rookie joins the team, the longest-serving of the two drivers - that’s Kamui in this case - takes on a certain leadership role. Kamui has developed wonderfully well as a driver over the course of the last year alone, and now he is also carrying out his new role by challenging our engineers and helping them to follow the right development path. 

And, of course, he continues to give us a lot of pleasure with his outstanding overtaking moves out on the track. Another very important factor is that he is a true team player, and that’s something Sergio also benefits from. The two drivers really work very well together.


What’s your view on the introduction of adjustable rear wings? 

This new element has provoked an enormous amount of debate among the drivers, team principals and fans alike. The fact is that these rear wings are working less well for some teams than others, and are therefore causing a few difficulties for some. On our cars they have worked well from the first race and do the job the FIA had in mind for them as an overtaking aid. 

However, in my view it’s still too early to come to a definitive conclusion. I think it would be useful if all those involved could sit down in the summer and evaluate the experiences we’ve had with them.

How do you rate the tyre situation? 

Pirelli was given a baptism of fire; the requirements it was asked to fulfil were very tough and the amount of time for development extremely short. They were also asked to produce tyres that would wear more rapidly to inject extra excitement into the races. After three Grands Prix we should applaud Pirelli for getting to grips with this tricky challenge so impressively. 

Our car is very easy on the tyres, but this has not come about by chance. Our engineers started working on this issue at a very early stage and have carried out the requisite measures. And now we can enjoy the benefits of this work during races. Needless to say, the character of the races has changed markedly as a result of the frequent pit stops, and the fans and TV commentators now have quite a tough job keeping track of how the race is unfolding. The same applies for the team strategists on the pit wall.

How would you sum up the all-round development of the Sauber F1 Team? 

The situation as a whole for our team already looks a lot healthier than it did 12 months ago. 2010 was a very difficult year for us. The transformation from a works team back to a private set-up used up a lot of our energy, and at the start of the season in particular, our results on the track were extremely poor.

From this position it was also virtually impossible to find sponsors for 2011. However, our car is no longer all white and we can be proud of that. Inevitably in a team of our size - where the engineers’ ideas outweigh the resources available to them - additional financial resources are reflected directly in performance. We are therefore continuing our search for sponsors.

As far as the technical side is concerned, I would like to underline that the Sauber C30-Ferrari is the first car for which James Key has been responsible. It is now a year since he joined us, and he has done a lot of very good things. On the one hand, there are the structural changes he has implemented. Equally, the car is meeting the aims he set out for it.

With the C29 the main problems concerned driveability on uneven circuits and over kerbs, which could not be alleviated by mechanical adjustments to the car set-up. The C30 gives us significantly greater flexibility in terms of ride height and also has good aerodynamic efficiency. 

To sum up, I can say that the overall development of the Sauber F1 Team is progressing positively, but that we have to continue to work very efficiently and with great dedication against a backdrop of limited resources in order to achieve our goals for the season.

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Tuesday 31 May 2016

  2. Pérez hopes for another top team chance 07:56

    Pérez hopes for another top team chance

    Sergio Pérez is hopeful that he will eventually get another chance at a top team after notching up the sixth podium finish of…

    F1
  3. Video of the Day: Red Bull in Lebanon 05:12

    Video of the Day: Red Bull in Lebanon

    Watch highlights of Red Bull's recent Formula 1 demo in Lebanon, with Carlos Sainz Jr. and the RB7.

    F1
  4. Monday 30 May 2016

  5. 17:02

    Book F1 tickets and join the action live!

    F1
  6. Winners and Losers: Monaco Grand Prix 16:34

    Winners and Losers: Monaco Grand Prix

    Lewis Hamilton secured his first victory of the year to kick-start his 2016 campaign in an intriguing Monaco Grand Prix…

    F1
  7. Grosjean left to rue Räikkönen incident 14:16

    Grosjean left to rue Räikkönen incident

    Haas driver Romain Grosjean was left to rue what might have been after getting inadvertently blocked off by Ferrari rival Kimi…

    F1
  8. Video: 100th Indianapolis 500 timelapse 13:42

    Video: 100th Indianapolis 500 timelapse

    Watch a timelapse of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500, which was won by rookie Alexander Rossi.

    Indy
  9. Verstappen vows to learn from Monaco 12:02

    Verstappen vows to learn from Monaco

    Red Bull's Max Verstappen has vowed to "learn a lot" from a challenging Monaco Grand Prix weekend, after crashing out of…

    F1
  10. Sauber drivers apologise after clash 11:32

    Sauber drivers apologise after clash

    Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr have apologised to their Sauber team after they collided during the Monaco Grand Prix, which led…

    F1
  11. Video: Nico Rosberg's Monaco blog 10:32

    Video: Nico Rosberg's Monaco blog

    Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg reflects on a challenging Monaco Grand Prix, in which he finished seventh.

    F1
  12. Williams pleased with Monaco progress 10:12

    Williams pleased with Monaco progress

    Williams performance chief Rob Smedley has declared himself satisfied with the team's progress in Monaco, though regretted not…

    F1
  13. Sainz Jr. frustrated to miss 'big points' 09:08

    Sainz Jr. frustrated to miss 'big points'

    Carlos Sainz Jr. expressed his frustration at missing out on "big points" at the Monaco Grand Prix, as the Toro Rosso driver had…

    F1
  14. Horner describes 'very disappointing' day 09:00

    Horner describes 'very disappointing' day

    Red Bull team boss Christian Horner described a "very disappointing" day for Red Bull at the Monaco Grand Prix as Daniel…

    F1
  15. Video of the Day: Formula E steering wheel 05:16

    Video of the Day: Formula E steering wheel

    Mahindra Racing driver Bruno Senna talks through the main functions on a Formula E steering wheel.

    FE
  16. Sunday 29 May 2016

  17. 21:56

    Latest photos: 100th Indianapolis 500

    Indy
  18. Rossi delivers shocking upset in Indy 500 21:54

    Rossi delivers shocking upset in Indy 500

    With five laps to go, all eyes were on the fuel data for the leading cars trying to win the Indianapolis 500, wondering who…

    Indy
  19. 18:02

    Latest F1 photos: Sunday in Monaco

    F1
  20. Kvyat also gets Canada grid penalty 17:56

    Kvyat also gets Canada grid penalty

    Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat has joined Marcus Ericsson in being hit with a three-place grid penalty for the Canadian Grand Prix…

    F1
  21. Vettel blames himself for missing podium 17:51

    Vettel blames himself for missing podium

    Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel says he was at fault for missing out on a Monaco Grand Prix podium to Force India's Sergio…

    F1
  22. Räikkönen cleared over unsafe driving 17:14

    Räikkönen cleared over unsafe driving

    Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen has escaped a penalty following the Monaco Grand Prix, having been investigated by the stewards over…

    F1
  23. 17:02

    Follow the Indianapolis 500 live!

    Indy
  24. Alonso happy with fifth, not with speed 16:53

    Alonso happy with fifth, not with speed

    Fernando Alonso spoke of his satisfaction at claiming fifth in at the Monaco Grand Prix, but not at McLaren-Honda's current…

    F1
  25. Wolff explains Rosberg/Hamilton switch 16:42

    Wolff explains Rosberg/Hamilton switch

    Toto Wolff says that an apparent issue on Nico Rosberg's car led to Mercedes asking him to move aside for Lewis Hamilton in…

    F1
  26. Ericsson gets three-place grid drop 16:17

    Ericsson gets three-place grid drop

    Marcus Ericsson has been given a three-place grid drop for the Canadian Grand Prix after his collision with Sauber team-mate…

    F1
  27. Marko apologises to Ricciardo for blunder 16:04

    Marko apologises to Ricciardo for blunder

    Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko has apologised to Daniel Ricciardo for "presenting" the Monaco Grand Prix to…

    F1
  28. Pérez hails 'tremendous' Force India effort 15:46

    Pérez hails 'tremendous' Force India effort

    Sergio Pérez hailed a "tremendous" effort from his Force India team as he finished on the podium at the Monaco Grand…

    F1
  29. Ricciardo critical of Red Bull for pit error 15:38

    Ricciardo critical of Red Bull for pit error

    An unhappy Daniel Ricciardo says he has been "screwed" for two successive race weekends as victory at the Monaco Grand Prix…

    F1
  30. Hamilton overwhelmed by Monaco victory 15:31

    Hamilton overwhelmed by Monaco victory

    Lewis Hamilton expressed his elation as he opened his 2016 account with victory in Monaco for the second time in his Formula 1…

    F1
  31. 15:06

    In full: Monaco Grand Prix race results

    F1
  32. Hamilton beats Ricciardo to Monaco win 15:04

    Hamilton beats Ricciardo to Monaco win

    Lewis Hamilton fended off Daniel Ricciardo to take his first victory of the 2016 campaign in a pulsating wet/dry Monaco Grand…

    F1
  33. 12:40

    Follow the Monaco Grand Prix live!

    F1
  34. Video: Massive British Formula 3 crash 12:32

    Video: Massive British Formula 3 crash

    Ameya Vaidyanathan suffers a massive airborne crash in British F3 after contact with Sisa Ngebulana.

    F3
  35. 12:02

    Starting grid for the Monaco Grand Prix

    F1
  36. Maldonado talking to F1 teams over return 11:34

    Maldonado talking to F1 teams over return

    Pastor Maldonado says he is speaking to multiple Formula 1 teams over a return to the grid in 2017, after losing his…

    F1
  37. Nasr to start from pit lane after changes 11:15

    Nasr to start from pit lane after changes

    Felipe Nasr will start Sunday afternoon's Monaco Grand Prix from the pit lane, along with Max Verstappen, after Sauber changed…

    F1
  38. Heavy rain falls in Monaco on race day 10:25

    Heavy rain falls in Monaco on race day

    As per pre-event forecasts, heavy rainfall arrived in Monaco on Sunday morning, which led to several incidents in the early…

    F1
  39. Berger handling Rosberg contract talks 09:15

    Berger handling Rosberg contract talks

    Ex-Formula 1 driver Gerhard Berger has confirmed that he is helping 2016 championship leader Nico Rosberg negotiate a new…

    F1
  40. Video: Coulthard vs Button on McLaren 09:12

    Video: Coulthard vs Button on McLaren

    David Coulthard and Jenson Button test their knowledge of McLaren's rich history in Grand Prix racing.

    F1
  41. Wolff adamant qualifying issue won't repeat 09:12

    Wolff adamant qualifying issue won't repeat

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff insists that the issue which affected both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg during qualifying for the…

    F1
  42. Renault extends Red Bull deal, STR returns 08:29

    Renault extends Red Bull deal, STR returns

    Renault has confirmed that it will continue to provide Red Bull with power units until at least the end of 2018, while Toro…

    F1
  43. Video of the Day: World's most connected car 05:26

    Video of the Day: World's most connected car

    Mercedes highlights the importance of its partnership with telecommunications company Qualcomm.

    F1
more news