Gripless Saubers struggle

Sauber arrived in Hungary with high hope of a strong showing, thanks mainly to bunch of new aero tweaks direct from its new state-of-the-art windtunnel in Hinwil, the Swiss team came down to earth with a bump during the first two practice sessions in Budapest

Gripless Saubers struggle

Giancarlo Fisichella set the pace in the first session initially, but tumbled down the order to 12th by the end of the first hour. At the end of practice the Italian had dropped to 16th. Felipe Massa fared even worse and after it was all over, only the three Minardis were slower than the Brazilian.

"Generally we lacked grip today," said Fisichella afterwards. "It was windy at times and the conditions were from lap to lap inconsistent, and understeer was our problem. That's why I went off in Turn 4, I ran wide and then got on to the gravel.

"Luckily the car wasn't damaged. On long runs we weren't so bad, but we have some set-up work to do."

Massa had all the same sort of problems as his team-mate. "It was not an easy day!" he said. "The car was pretty loose both this morning and this afternoon, and I had a lot of understeer. That caught me out in Turn Four this afternoon, just like Giancarlo, but it's just the first day, and the track is still very green.

Sauber's technical director Willi Rampf at least took solace from knowing where the team needs to improve Our main problem today was lack of grip. As a consequence, this was effecting the car balance quite a lot with understeer in the beginning moving to oversteer.

"Due to the layout of the track with many directional changes any handling problem is magnified. Our main area to improve the performance is therefore to find a more consistent balance."

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