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Monaco GP: Preview - Sauber

NEWS STORY
18/05/2012

Highly motivated and excited, the Sauber F1 Team heads to the most prestigious Grand Prix of the year. The Sauber C31-Ferrari's performance has further improved since the introduction of the recent development package, and now it remains to be seen how this works on the narrow street circuit of Monaco. Kamui Kobayashi had a great race in the principality in 2011, and Sergio Perez can't wait to finally make it onto the grid at the Formula One race in Monte Carlo for the first time on May 27th.

Kamui Kobayashi: "I have good memories of Monaco. I finished fifth there last year, which was really great. Monaco is a very special track for the drivers. Our car seems to be strong on most of the tracks. Now it will be interesting to see how competitive it will be on a street circuit, but I'm quite confident it will be strong there as well. In Monaco a lot of things can happen, therefore it's important to stay out of trouble and make it to the end. If we do that then I'm sure we will be able to fight for points."

Sergio Perez: "This Grand Prix is the most special one for me. I have been waiting to race in the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix all my life and, of course, after what happened last year I am looking forward to it even more. I strongly believe on this track the driver can make more of a difference than on any other track. As a team we are in good shape and I want to keep that momentum for Monaco. I also think our car can perform quite well on that unique city circuit. Of course I also think back to the accident I had in Q3 last year. To me it is like a watershed event in my career. There is a time before and a time after the accident. I learnt a lot from what I had to go through and I think it made me stronger. I really want to show what I can do in Monte Carlo."

Matt Morris, Chief Designer: "The Monaco track is probably the one where the driver has the most influence on the overall performance. Last year both our drivers were competitive - Sergio until his accident in Q3, and Kamui finished a strong fifth in the race. The main challenge for setting up the car will be to optimise the mechanical grip. I'm confident we will be able to handle this. The development package that we ran for the first time in Barcelona will also be used again in Monaco, so we will be able to carry over its performance gain. Pirelli will provide us with the soft and the super soft tyres. This is actually the first time this year that we will be using the super soft compound during a race weekend. We tested it briefly during winter testing in Barcelona, which is a track that's not exactly suited to this tyre, but I don't see us having any problems in managing this tyre compound. The track has been resurfaced in some areas, for example in the braking zone after the tunnel, so we have got rid of the bump there. That's something the drivers have to get used to, but, if anything, it should be easier. One of the design considerations of the C31 was to improve it over the kerbs, so we should be stronger at kerbing compared to last year. We have been competitive so far this season, and I'm confident we can be very strong in Monaco as well."

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