Sergio Perez expects Sauber to continue its trend of being more competitive in race trim after earning the best starting position of his career in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The 21-year-old Mexican made Q3 for the second time since arriving in Formula 1 and will line up 10th on the grid alongside Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher. He also made the top 10 in Monaco, but withdrew from the race after crashing at the chicane during Q3.
The Sauber C30 is very gentle on its tires, raising hopes that Perez and team-mate Kamui Kobayashi, who will start 13th, will be able to complete the race with fewer pit stops than the other teams in contention for points positions. Most anticipate a three or even four-stop race, although Sauber appears to have the potential to stop only twice.
"Tomorrow is a very good chance to score some big points if we can get the strategy right," said Perez. "We know that our race pace is more competitive than in qualifying and we are already starting in a good position. If I can make some places in the first corner and have a good strategy, we will be in a good position."
Perez added that he was very pleased with his qualifying performance. He credited getting the best out of the Pirelli option rubber for his form, which continues his run of showing good pace on Saturday afternoon despite tire warm-up problems often making life difficult for the Sauber drivers.
"The window with these tires is so narrow if you want to get the maximum out of them," said Perez. "This was one of those days when I did a very good lap. Everything came together.
"Monaco was also very good, before I had the accident. The lap at the Nurburgring was also very good, but in terms of performance here was as well."