It was clear from the beginning that the famous high speed circuit of Monza would be challenging for the Sauber C31-Ferrari. Both Sauber F1 Team drivers, Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez, were fighting hard. Kamui managed to go through to Q3 and qualified 9th. For Sergio it didn't work out as well, as he qualified 13th for tomorrow's Italian Grand Prix.
Kamui Kobayashi: "Well we don't have the same pace here as we did last week in Spa, which made it a tough qualifying. Having said this, I am happy to have reached the first target which was to get through to Q3. Friday was pretty difficult because a mechanical problem prevented me from doing the mileage I would have wanted, and this is also why I cannot really make any predictions on how the race will go. I lack the experience of proper long runs. After the third free practice session this morning we changed the car's settings quite a lot and this paid off in qualifying, I got confidence in the car back. My lap time in Q2 was really good - half a second quicker than in Q3 - and to me this was the maximum possible. However, it was a shame I didn't manage to improve on my second lap during the final attempt. I want to get a strong race result tomorrow."
Sergio Perez: "We knew it would be tight to make it into the top ten today, but I was fighting hard. We have improved the car quite a lot since Friday, but we are clearly not as quick here as we were in Belgium. On my last attempt in Q2 unfortunately I was driving too close behind Bruno Senna and could not improve my lap time. I lost two tenths of a second in the first sector. I didn't want to back off to make a bigger gap because I didn't want to compromise the warm up of my tyres. The tyre compounds here are quite similar and we don't expect high degradation, but in the end, given the high temperatures, you never really know. I am very optimistic about scoring good points here in tomorrow's race."
Monisha Kaltenborn, CEO: "We are quite happy with the qualifying result, because we knew the Monza track characteristics would be challenging for our car. However, we are in a good starting position and are looking forward to a strong race."
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: "In the morning we had to make up some ground which we lost yesterday. We found some good directions for the car. In qualifying we made it quite easily through Q1,and then it was really down to the drivers. Our performance was very close to some other competitors, so it was really a matter of fractions to be in or out of the top ten and so be further up or back down the grid. I'm confident we can have a good race from these positions."
Check out our Qualifying gallery, here.