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Australian GP: Qualifying notes - Sauber

NEWS STORY
26/03/2011

There were smiling faces in the Sauber F1 Team after the first qualifying for the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship. The Sauber C30-Ferrari proved able to be a top ten car and both drivers put in good performances. Kamui Kobayashi qualified ninth for tomorrow's Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, while Sergio Perez came 13th in what was his first ever F1 qualifying session.

Kamui Kobayashi: "Overall performance wise we are not too bad and now we see what we have done in the winter was okay. Of course there are still things to improve, but this is only the first Grand Prix and making it into Q3 is good. I want to thank the team. I only wish I had a set of new tyres left for Q3, instead of the used set of soft tyres, as then I think P6 would have been possible. However, I believe today is positive news and I'm very happy to give that to Japan."

Sergio Perez: "My first qualifying started quite well with P6 in Q1, and this was mainly because in the third free practice I couldn't run on soft tyres and low fuel as we lost a lot of time due to a hydraulic problem. In Q2 we were a bit tight on time after the yellow flag, and then on my last flying lap I had traffic in the final sector and could not get the most out of the tyres. Today a better result was possible, and this is a shame. But generally I feel very comfortable and hope for a good race tomorrow with some points at the end."

Peter Sauber, Team Principal: "Finally everybody knows where he stands and I must say I'm satisfied with where we are at the moment. No less important is the positive experience with both our drivers today. From Kamui we knew what he could do, but Sergio, our rookie, was a nice surprise."

James Key, Technical Director: "We are obviously pleased that the progress we thought we made over the winter has been realised today in qualifying. But this is just the start of a long season. Kamui did a great job to get us safely through to Q3 when, unfortunately, we had to run used tyres. So in the end he did not find the ultimate performance. Sergio was excellent, considering this was his first F1 qualifying and he had missed a lot of time with a hydraulic problem in free practice three. On his fastest lap in Q2 he had traffic, but nonetheless we are very happy with the job both drivers did. What really counts is the race tomorrow and it will be very interesting to see the unknown tyre strategies that could be employed."

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