Qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix yet again showed how much of a difference a few tenths of a second can make. Sauber F1 Team driver Nico Hülkenberg ended up 15th, just five hundredths of a second slower than P13. Esteban Gutiérrez finished in 16th. On the positive side, the updates the team brought to Barcelona are working as expected.
The updates this weekend were a step in the right direction, and the set up of the car during qualifying was good, but not good enough as the other teams might have improved even more. I am very satisfied with my lap in Q2. It was the perfect lap. We used two sets of mediums in order to try to get a better grid position, but in the end it wasn’t enough, because we were missing pace. Other than that, I think we can be satisfied with what we have done, but we simply need to find more speed.”
Esteban Gutiérrez (Qualifying: 16th in Q2, 1:22.793 min / medium tyres - 3rd practice: 13th, 1:23.371 min / medium tyres / 21 laps): “Qualifying today was tricky. Yesterday and in FP3 this morning I felt quite confident and the laps seemed to be consistent. Overall I think the updates are a good step forward.
I could have got more speed out of the last set of tyres, but it’s a delicate position when you are driving on the limit and I tried to get the best out of what we have. I’m not satisfied, as I want to be further in front. We simply need to keep pushing to get more speed.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “We cannot be satisfied with P15 and P16. Especially on a track like this one, it will not be easy to achieve a lot from where we start.
Both drivers showed great performances today. This shows we have reduced the gap in qualifying, but still have to improve more.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “Yet another tight qualifying session where a few tenths move you a long way up the grid. We can take positives from the fact that all the updated parts on the car are working as intended.
Both drivers drove well during both sessions. Tyre management will be key tomorrow in the race. So along with that and the strategy we’ll now look at the best way to move ourselves forward from where we are starting.”
Sauber F1 Team