Sauber rues missed opportunity in Bahrain

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Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn is adamant the Swiss outfit “missed a very realistic chance of finishing in the points” during last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

Both Ferrari-powered C34s failed to make it to Q3 for only the second time this season with Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson lining up 12th and 13th on Sunday’s grid at Sakhir.

The Swede made the better getaway and was already up to P9 on the opening lap while his Brazilian team-mate dropped a couple of positions at the first corner. Nasr then suffered a power loss for several laps, which forced the rookie to lose more ground.

Meanwhile, Ericsson was driving a steady race in the points-paying positions when his efforts were hindered by a problem during his second pit stop. This pushed the Caterham  down to 14th at the chequered flag, two spots behind Nasr in 12th.

Although Kaltenborn rues the missed opportunity to see Sauber add to its 2015 tally of 19 points, the team principal remains upbeat with their drivers’ pace and overall performance.

“There is no doubt that today we missed a very realistic chance of finishing in the points, particularly as our lap times were competitive,” said Kaltenborn. “On Marcus’ car we had a technical issue during his second pitstop, where he lost a lot of time. We are sorry for that. Felipe lost time due to a temporary loss of power.

“The engineers were able to fix this after some laps, but the time lost was too big, and so he was also not able to fight for points like his team mate. Both drivers fought impressively, but we didn’t get any rewards.”

Sauber Head of Track Engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara also praised both Nasr’s and Ericsson’s performance, but was equally frustrated over the technical mishaps which hampered their progress.

“Obviously this is a disappointing result,” he said. “On Marcus‘ car we had a mechanical issue during his second pitstop when changing the front left wheel, which delayed him by 24 seconds. He was then simply not able to recover from this and couldn’t get the points he would have deserved.

“Felipe was hindered by a temporary loss of power, which was able to be fixed after some laps, but this cost him 12 seconds. Both drivers drove strongly, and it’s just a shame that we were not able to convert that into points.”

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