BS. The Sauber has been hugely flattered by this year's junk rubber. They were are only fast in race circumstances, because of the delta time the car is capable of. As soon as the sharp end of the grid caught up with the pirellis, at least as much as it is possible, now that they all admitted to it - bar the Silver Barrow, of course, Sauber lost the ground they seemed to have, and fell back to their rightful place. That car IS decent, but trying to fetishize it is kind of sick, really.
Sauber car is very bad in mech grip and because most tracks are full of hairpins and etc, they rarely can show their very good aerodynamics. In Barcelona Perez qualified 4th and Koba, who was faster than him in Q2, couldn't take part in Q3 to maybe put it higher. In Silverstone the quali was on wet conditions, so they couldn't show their true pace. Then, Spa and Suzuka which are full of high speed corners, saw Kobayashi qualify 2nd and 3rd. Let's also remember that Kobayashi qualified 4th in China
When the track suits their car, they are very fast even in qualifying and FOR SURE faster then Mercedes in qualifying or race in aero demanding tracks.
I would say even that only Red Bull and Mclaren are better at such tracks. Sauber, Lotus and Ferrari then comes after it.
But the whole of the discussion, which is obviously focused on Mercedes in this thread, is that Mercedes didn't have performance of 5th team overall in the year. They had very good performances in China and Monaco but that's it.
There were also some early qualifying good results from there but that's because they are agressive with their tires which makes them extract a lot of grip from them over one lap to then be in trouble for the race.
The tire thing that you love to say about Sauber works both ways. It can also apply to a few somewhat glory run qualifyings from Mercedes like Australia, Malaysia and etc. When they(Mercedes) set their car to make the tires last longer, then the car becomes very slow in qualifying.
The same thing repeated over and over about Sauber, just in reverse. Sauber could also use more agressive set up to qualify better but then they would lose their race pace advantadge.
The Mercedes car is low draggy, have good mechanical grip and a great engine and that pretty much is their pros. They are really back on the aerodynamics race and if they don't improve on it for next year, this year's luck 5th might not repeat next year, albeit they will have better drivers than all other midfielders next year, so thinking better, yeah, they might get it again relying on the drivers
Edited by BetaVersion, 27 October 2012 - 18:57.