• Barcelona Testing

Sauber close to big four - de la Rosa

ESPNF1 Staff
February 26, 2010 « Korean International Circuit on schedule | »
Pedro de la Rosa is confident about his car's pace © Sutton Images

Pedro de la Rosa thinks his Sauber C29 is not far off the pace of the Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes.

The current Sauber team rose from the ashes of BMW's withdrawal last year and is still based at its high-tech Hinwil HQ. The collective wisdom of the paddock suggests the big four are out in front with a tight midfield battle shaping up between Sauber, Renault, Toro Rosso, Williams and Force India. However, de la Rosa sees no reason why Sauber can't join the battle at the front.

"The (C29) car is good," he said. "I think we're leading the group that is behind the four prominent teams that we all know. Our goal now is to shorten the distance to them, which is not too much."

Meanwhile, Toro Rosso's Jaime Alguersuari has told reporters he doesn't think Mercedes is among the top four, and that he expects to be competing against its drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg at the start of the season.

"Mercedes are in the second group, along with us, Williams and Sauber," he said.

Renault's rookie Vitaly Petrov is less bullish about his chances, saying that he is aiming for points finishes by mid-season.

"The team has told me that as of halfway through the season they will count on me to start scoring points," he said, before adding that his dry day of testing in Barcelona on Thursday was invaluable. "I really needed that [track] time. All the others have driven much more than me."

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