Q: What can you say about Kamui Kobayashi's performance?
Peter Sauber, BMW Sauber-Ferrari (Team Principal): I can only think of one word for it - amazing! I was obviously thrilled by his two overtaking moves at the end of the race, but what impressed me most was how Kamui mastered his long stint on the hard tyres. At times he was setting some of the fastest lap times of any driver, but still managed to look after his tyres. He also drove very consistently and didn't allow himself to be put under pressure by Jenson Button. Signing a rookie is always something of a risk; on Sunday Kamui delivered confirmation that we made the right decision.
Q: What were you thinking when Kamui Kobayashi launched his attack on Fernando Alonso?
PS: I just hoped it would have a good result. Kamui was ninth when he took on Alonso; in other words, there were points at stake - points we desperately needed. When he managed to get by and then also passed Sébastien Buemi, I was clearly overjoyed, just like everybody else.
Q: How much of this success can be attributed to the car?
PS: These kinds of lap times are only possible if both the driver and the car are quick; there's no other way. The C29 has a huge amount of potential, but it doesn't make it easy for our engineers and drivers to fully exploit this potential every time. When I compare our qualifying performance in Valencia with the lap times in the race, I can't work it out.
Q: Why was the C29 so competitive in the race?
James Key, BMW Sauber-Ferrari (Technical Director): There are several reasons. When a driver finds himself in a competitive position like that he always finds something more in himself because he's following quicker cars. And Kamui did a very good job. The race also showed that the car works when it's in the right conditions, but the question we have and we had for several of the last races is why the car is more competitive in race conditions than qualifying. The drivers report that the car is easier to drive in the race, and tyre degradation wasn't a problem either, so we weren't particularly hard on the tyres. We need to look into the data, now that both drivers delivered a competitive race after a qualifying that was not up to our expectations. We need to pin down the differences in how the car is feeling and handling and see how we can apply that to qualifying.
Q: What are the next development steps?
JK: We are currently in the process of splitting our resources as best we can between the current car and the C30. We are a private team and we don't have unlimited resources to do everything we want. For Silverstone we have some front wing updates and modifications around the middle of the car. Then for Hockenheim we will have a rear end update which includes a diffuser step as well. The numbers in the wind tunnel are progressing well. At the same time we are focusing on Spa and Monza for lower downforce and drag configurations. And there will be further steps towards the end of the year.
Q: Before the summer break, there will be three races in Silverstone, Hockenheim and Budapest. How will they suit the C29?
JK: We are in a position now where the car is more suited to some track layouts than to others. You can see that looking at our qualifying performance in Barcelona and Istanbul compared to Montreal and Valencia. However, we are working on our weaknesses, and we made a first step with our update in Valencia. Silverstone should be better suited to our car. It's mainly a mix of medium and high-speed corners which our car is definitely well balanced for. Hockenheim is a fairly normal track with a mix of low, medium and high-speed corners. I expect this to be an event where things will be very close. Hockenheim might be a little less suited to our car than Silverstone. Hungary is mainly low and medium-speed, but we are working on improving our performance in low-speed corners, and our goal is to improve the car mechanically for Hockenheim and Budapest.
Source: BMW Sauber F1