Kamui Kobayashi has said that the new aero package Sauber put on the car in Barcelona has made it easier to drive and to get results from and he believes he can better his fifth place result from Monaco last season.
The Japanese driver had another strong drive in Barcleona on Sunday with two stunning overtakes as he fought his way up from ninth on the grid to 5th at the flag. He now has 19 points from five races.
“Our new aero package was working well. It is definitely a step forward,” he said. “I think we have improved in the areas we wanted to. The car is better balanced through the corners now. In terms of stability I would say it is about the same, but stability always depends a lot on the track conditions.”
Last year Sauber had a bittersweet Monaco weekend, as Sergio Perez was hospitalised with concussion after a nasty accident in the chicane, while Kobayashi had a strong result. Monaco organisers say that they have ground down the bump which was unsettling cars on the run from the tunnel to the chicane, a place where a number of drivers have crashed badly in recent years including Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button. They have also removed a tree and moved back the barriers at the rear of the chicane so the impact point is further away from the chicane and less severe.
Kobayashi reckons that the Sauber will go well in Monaco. So do engineers from other teams. The exhaust layout they have adopted gives significant gain in the lower speed corners such as can be found at Monaco.
“In Monaco the car is bouncing on bumps, you have understeer and oversteer when you are driving on the limit and the track doesn’t forgive any mistakes. I think our car will be better in Monaco than it was last year because it has improved in slow corners. In 2011 I finished fifth, so the target should be to finish higher up this year. However, even if you are given the best car in Monaco, in the end a lot is down to the driver to get the ultimate tenths of a second out of it.”
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