Sauber: Two-stop gamble fails for Kobayashi

2011 Hungarian GP team review

Kobayashi made an unsuccessful attempt to do half the race distance on a set of super-softs.

Kamui Kobayashi Sergio Perez
Qualifying position 13 10
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’22.435 (+0.278) 1’22.157
Race position 11 15
Laps 69/70 68/70
Pit stops 3 3

Sauber drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70
Kamui Kobayashi 123.955 111.625 110.482 107.976 105.911 104.797 104.362 103.107 103.174 102.124 101.983 103.987 120.364 95.461 92.953 91.322 90.736 89.832 89.691 89.524 89.977 89.664 89.574 89.331 89.355 89.337 89.713 89.142 88.125 88.389 88.794 88.845 89.812 92.831 108.411 86.971 87.987 88.452 87.888 88.401 88.35 88.199 88.372 87.877 88.154 93.053 92.942 90.521 97.131 100.717 98.064 95.418 91.812 89.924 90.564 90.986 89.407 89.007 90.596 89.969 91.631 96.874 104.854 85.415 84.664 85.252 85.237 85.357 86.685
Sergio Perez 128.355 116.693 111.673 109.847 107.462 107.193 106.267 104.946 101.875 102.921 102.599 104.283 119.463 94.267 92.734 91.997 93.263 91.859 91.014 91.078 91.162 91.731 91.934 92.838 108.881 88.593 90.677 88.759 89.18 90.738 88.355 90.826 99.691 87.564 87.597 89.766 88.049 88.542 89.968 89.364 88.763 89.205 90.571 93.274 112.889 90.575 90.411 110.729 121.292 100.799 90.47 88.453 86.156 86.535 85.745 87.922 88.756 90.032 89.885 91.366 93.7 86.621 86.328 86.091 85.46 85.342 84.999 85.947
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Hungaroring, 2011

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber, Hungaroring, 2011

Kamui Kobayashi

Kobayashi said he felt the car had improved between practice and qualifying but missed out on Q3.

He rose from 13th to tenth at the start and was the only driver to switch to soft tyres at his first stop. He spent the next stint holding off Rubens Barrichello, Vitaly Petrov and the two Toro Rossos.

Kobayashi dropped behind them when he finally pitted again on lap 34, taking on a set of super-softs.

But he climbed back up the order, staying out as the rain came down: “When the second lot of rain came the team briefly thought about calling me to the pits to pick up intermediate tyres but I didn?t want to because I found the track was improving,” he said.

By now Kobayashi had the remaining points scorers queued up behind him, and 12th-placed Vitaly Petrov so far back he could easily pit and come out in front of the Renault.

This appears to have been why the team left him out in the hope that his tyres might last (for what would have been 36 laps) and he could score some points. But it didn’t work out that way.

First Paul di Resta came by on lap 60. Two laps later Sebastien Buemi took him at the first corner. The other Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari clattered into the Sauber, spinning off and damaging Kobayashi’s rear wing end plate.

Only after Nico Rosberg and Alguersuari had relegated him from the top ten did the team finally bring him in. he duly emerged in 11th, right in front of Petrov, but with too few laps left and too much time to make up to score any points.

Kamui Kobayashi 2011 form guide

Sergio Perez

Made his second appearance in Q3 and, once again, didn’t set a time having reached the final ten. But unlike at Monaco, where he had his dreadful crash, this time the decision was tactical to save tyres.

But he didn’t stay there long – he lost ten places on the first lap: “I had no grip at all and hardly managed to keep the car on track,” he said.

“I went wide at one corner and lost a lot of positions. I actually dropped back from 10th on the grid to 20th.

“At that time I was slower than the slowest cars and I hope we find the reason why this was so extreme.”

Perez made matters worse for himself by passing Heikki Kovalainen under waved yellow flags – though he was able to stay ahead of Lotus even after taking his penalty.

Braving the late rain shower without stopping for intermediates allowed him to take a place off Pastor Maldonado, but he finished in 15th behind Adrian Sutil.

Sergio Perez 2011 form guide

2011 Hungarian Grand Prix

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9 comments on Sauber: Two-stop gamble fails for Kobayashi

  1. zecks said on 1st August 2011, 13:31

    This time the strategy clearly didn’t pay off, but it was at least entertaining to see the drivers trying to scrabble past the kamui. Boy can that guy battle

    • Fixy (@fixy) said on 1st August 2011, 17:17

      There were drivers who had been lapped by him (like Sutil) right behind him, battling evenly with the others that were one lap ahead, then came Webber and Hamilton and the drama increased!

  2. gavmaclean said on 1st August 2011, 13:47

    Why didn’t they just put a set of softs on his last stint. I thought you didn’t have to do both compounds in wet conditions?

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 1st August 2011, 13:58

      No, you don’t.

      Well they would have been trying to benefit from the higher level of grips but it just seems Kamui couldn’t turn them on. I doubt the track temperature helped his cause much.

  3. Well – Kobayashi’s now had one poor race throughout the entire season… and it wasn’t even too bad! He was a sitting duck on that strategy though and they pack still struggled to pass him! Well done!

    Perez had quite a bad race also, his penalty was fair enough, rules are rules and it was slightly silly of him.

    I hope they can bounce back in Spa – but I think they’ll struggle for points, especially with Force India’s recent form at Spa!

  4. The New Pope said on 1st August 2011, 14:13

    Certainly a disappointing result for Sauber, but hopefully they will be back in the points at Spa.

  5. Eggry (@eggry) said on 1st August 2011, 14:39

    Tyre savers

  6. Brundle’s comment saying he was wondering if their contracts made them pay for their own tyres was funny. But that was the only funny thing about it.

    I don’t see why they wouldn’t pit him when he could easily do so and fight for points. He could have finished 7th if they’d not tried to gamble on their tyre conservation.

    Oh well. In all, probably the first time they dropped the ball on strategy this year, so not too bad in that respect I guess.

  7. F1 98 said on 2nd August 2011, 8:22

    I hate to admite it but force india will pass sauber at the constructures championship.
    Reason spa is next and we now what happen last two years

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