Sauber is adamant that its midfield qualifying positions for the Korean Grand Prix are solely due to yellow flags interrupting Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi's Q2 laps, rather than any lack of pace in the car.
Perez and Kobayashi will start 12th and 13th respectively at Yeongam. They were among several drivers affected when Daniel Ricciardo's gearbox-hampered Toro Rosso prompted yellows at the end of Q2.
"I would have been easily five tenths faster but I had to back off when the yellow flags came out," said Kobayashi. "I am quite disappointed, especially as we had improved the car for Q2."
Sauber's head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall'Ara said that while the results might not reflect it, the team had made huge progress since practice and would have the pace to go forward on Sunday.
"There's no doubt we were unfortunate today with the yellow flags, but we have to take the positive from the day," he said. "After having some troubles yesterday, we managed to improve the set-up significantly overnight and both our drivers were very strong.
"I believe the performance of the car is stronger than the results suggest, so we have every reason to be positive for the race."