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Abu Dhabi GP: Race notes - Sauber

NEWS STORY
04/11/2012

In an action packed Abu Dhabi Grand Prix the Sauber F1 Team scored eight championship points, which has now reduced the gap to fifth place in the Constructors' World Championship to 12 points with two more races to go. Kamui Kobayashi drove a very strong race at the spectacular twilight event on the desert circuit and finished sixth, having started from 15th on the grid. Sergio Perez had also been on track to score points, but lost out in a battle for fifth on lap 38. After an extra pit stop for repairs and a ten second stop and go penalty he finished the race 15th, after starting from 11th.

Kamui Kobayashi: "It was a very tough race and I am really happy I was able to get those eight points for the team. To fight for fifth place in the constructors' championship in the remaining two races will be very exciting. Unfortunately today I could not use the full performance of the car. There was a problem with downshifting, which meant I could not recharge the KERS properly and didn't have full boost. Otherwise my race went well. I had a good start, while the team did a great job in terms of timing, strategy and the pit stop."

Sergio Perez: "We were looking really good in the race, and I had the feeling even a podium would have been possible. But then after my pit stop I got stuck behind Romain Grosjean and Paul di Resta, and could not get by them because I didn't have enough straight-line speed. I had to risk a lot to get by, but then unfortunately collided with the Lotus and my race was over. It is a real shame because our race pace was very good."

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "I am very happy because these points are extremely valuable for us in the constructors' championship and they allow us to fight for a better position. Kamui put in a fantastic performance despite his issues. With Sergio it was unfortunate as we were in a very good position to score a lot of points today, but nevertheless we now look forward to the last two races and we shall do all we can to fight."

Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: "The race was shaping up to be an easy one, but eventually it wasn't. At the start both drivers got away well and were eighth and ninth at the end of lap one. Also some of our immediate opposition was behind us, so by lap ten we were looking good. Then we had the first safety car, which reset the gaps we had built up. We went for one stop, which was planned, and both drivers did a good job climbing up the field. Then there was Sergio's accident, but the upside was while we lost positions with one car we were able to gain some with the other. We did have some issues with Kamui, which cost a bit of performance, but we were in control. His problem was a downshift issue, which didn't allow the proper recharging of the KERS, so he could not use full boost. It is regrettable we have missed some points but that's racing and, as the pace of our cars was strong, we shall keep fighting."

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