De la Rosa: Test pace 'wasn't reality'

Pedro de la Rosa has admitted that Sauber's winter testing performance was not a clear reflection of its 2010 potential, but still believes his team can get closer to the frontrunners during the season

De la Rosa: Test pace 'wasn't reality'

Sauber was expected to be a top ten contender after it topped several tests and set a consistently rapid pace pre-season. Yet it has remained solidly in the midfield since the championship began.

De la Rosa reckons Sauber has simply failed to keep up with its rivals' development programmes, although he conceded that the team also ran light on occasion in testing.

"The reality is racing, not testing, and that reality is where we are now," he said.

"In testing we started very well, but I think the other teams have introduced new developments from February on. They have made massive steps forward, we haven't, and therefore this is where we are - simple as that.

"Possibly in testing we were also running a little bit less fuel than other people, which we didn't account for, and that has opened the gap a little bit.

"But there are 16 races to go - we are not where we want to be, but we are pushing like hell, and if the other guys are doing it then we can do it as well, that's how we should approach it."

However he played down the chances of a big leap forward when Sauber introduces an upgrade for the Spanish Grand Prix next month.

"We will have a new aero package for Spain, but I think everyone will, so I think that we have to get our feet on the ground and make small improvements race by race," said de la Rosa.

He is more optimistic about the role that ex-Force India man James Key will play, as the transition from long-time Sauber technical boss Willy Rampf to Key continues.

"We have James Key in the team now, he started working last week, and he's a good asset," de la Rosa said. "I think everything is going very well in that area. Willy is helping James take over, and I think it's going to work."

Sauber is also one of the first teams to emulate McLaren's F-duct system. Although it has so far had little success with the device, de la Rosa expects to use it in the race for the first time in China.

"The team is improving the system race by race," he said. "It's not an easy system, it's very complex, and they're doing a good job making it work reliably, but our plan is to run it from tomorrow to Sunday now it's working, and here is one of the places it's useful."

shares
comments
Barrichello criticises Hamilton weaving
Previous article

Barrichello criticises Hamilton weaving

Next article

Prodrive rules out entering F1 in 2011

Prodrive rules out entering F1 in 2011
Load comments
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Plus

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes Plus

How Formula E factors could negate Red Bull's Jeddah practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Formula 1
Dec 3, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Plus

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Plus

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Plus

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Autosport's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer explains

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated Plus

Why Ferrari is sure its long-term Leclerc investment will be vindicated

Humble yet blisteringly quick, Charles Leclerc is the driver Ferrari sees as its next
 world champion, and a rightful heir to the greats of Ferrari’s past – even though, by the team’s own admission, he’s not the finished article yet. Here's why it is confident that the 24-year-old can be the man to end a drought stretching back to 2008

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2021
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2021
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021