The two S auber F1 drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Kamui Kobayashi at the completed the first test drives of the 2010 season in Valencia. The team from Hinwil in Switzerland did not have any major technical difficulties to complain about.
'All in all, we can be satisfied with the reliability,' says technical director Willy Rampf, drawing his positive conclusion. 'We covered 1,000 kilometers on the three days without any problems worth mentioning. Of course there are some adjustments or modifications, but that's what the test drives are for.'
Smaller improvements should be made at the next test date in Jerez. 'There is nothing to worry about seriously. One of these points is, for example, that the engine cover in the rear area was scorched by the exhaust gases. We will use a different material there.'
With the The former BMW works team is satisfied with their own performance. However, it is not yet possible to determine where you stand in direct comparison with the competition. 'That is even more difficult to assess this year than in previous years,' Rampf analyzes. 'We only see that our car delivers the performance we expected based on our simulations and measurements in the wind tunnel. An absolute comparison with the competition is not possible due to the extremely different amounts of gasoline.'
Rampf: 'The right compromise is crucial'
In terms of feeling, the car seems to meet expectations. After the first few laps, both drivers made positive comments about the driving behavior. One challenge, however, is how to adapt the car to the vastly different amounts of gasoline. As of 2010, refueling will no longer be allowed, which means that the vehicle weight will continue to decrease over the course of the race. 'It will be absolutely crucial to find the right compromise here,' said Rampf.
The new tire dimensions have less of an impact. On the front axle, the rubbers have shrunk by two centimeters in width. In Valencia, the teams were able to test the new material in practice for the first time: 'In general, the effect is less than expected. It is clear that the cars have a greater tendency to understeer, which we do with aCan partially compensate for a shift in the weight distribution towards the rear as well as the corresponding suspension tuning. '