Mercedes in its sights: Sauber's 20-point coup

Sauber has Mercedes in its sights
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E s is bewitched. Whenever the two Sauber drivers find themselves on bad starting positions, they have an excellent race. Team manager Beat Zehnder is convinced that a place on the podium would have been possible with 'normal' starting positions. 'This car can do that. It's fast, it saves the tires and is clearly better than the starting positions at Hockenheim.'

Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez had left 12th and 17th place. After seven laps they already appeared in positions 9 and 10. 'Gaining space early on was the key to the good end result.' As soon as the Sauber drivers had the Mercedes, Force India and Webbers Red Bull in sight, they played to their strengths.

Kobayashi with anti-tactics in fourth place

Zehnder: 'Ours Despite two pit stops, lap times were sometimes better than the three-stopper with significantly fresher tires. ' Kobayashi and Perez were sent into the race with the plan to drive as long as possible on the first turn. When all opponents had turned into the pits, you had free travel.

The tactic worked with Kobayashi. The Japanese was converted from soft to hard tires shortly before the start. Just to swim against the current. But he was only in the pits on the 22nd lap.

Perez slowed down by tire problem

Perez chose the conservative tactic: soft-medium-medium. For the first tire change he turned five laps earlier than planned because he suspected a creeping flat tire on the left rear. 'The car felt very strange on this side.'

The earlier stop meant that he had to pass Nico Hulkenberg twice and he had a longer final turn. That is why the Mexican came under pressure from Michael Schumacher again in the final phase.

The Mercedes wanted to score high with the tactic of the late stop like in Valencia, but this time the trick failed. 'Because the tire degradation of the two-stopper was much smaller than in Valencia,' explained Zehnder. In Hockenheim there are two places where the rear tires suffer when accelerating. There were six in Valencia.

Sauber wishes for more consistency

Peter Sauber beamed after the disappointments of the last two races in Valencia and Silverstone: 'We started from positions twelve and 17 and ended up finishing fourth and sixth, and I think we can say that we put in an outstanding performance todayto have. Congratulations to our drivers, who both drove excellently. '

Now the Sauber team would like a little more consistency. The distribution of points in the first ten Grand Prix shows a constant up and down: 12-18- 1-0-10-0-17-2-0-20. With 80 points, the Swiss have swum free from Williams (47) and Force India (46). Now they are looking ahead. Mercedes is at 105 Counters not out of reach, and the Sauber C31 is currently the faster racing car.


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