The first two practice sessions for the Abu Dhabi GP went well for the Sauber F1 Team.
This is is particularly important here as the track temperature changes significantly between the morning and the afternoon sessions.
Both drivers were happy with their cars at the end of the day, but, because the mid field is so tight, the team will continue to improve the performance for qualifying tomorrow.
Nico Hülkenberg: (1st Practice: 11th, 1:45.378 min, 23 laps / 2nd Practice: 9th, 1:42.324 min, 41 laps): “It was a normal Friday. We worked through the programme we had planned and learned quite a lot about the car and the tyres today. I am confident that we will be able to show a strong performance. There is still room for improvement in the set-up of the car, but overall I’m happy.”
Esteban Gutiérrez (1st Practice: 15th, 1:46.068 min, 18 laps / 2nd Practice: 11th, 1:42.509 min, 39 laps): “Today was a very productive one. We tested different set-ups on the car and evaluated how the tyres behave here. In the morning we were testing different balances, and it’s always a matter of finding the right set-up for qualifying and then the right set up for the race.
Now we need to find the right compromise for tomorrow. Here the track changes a lot from the morning to the afternoon, as track temperatures vary significantly, so it is challenging to judge the car. This will be the same for qualifying and the race.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “It was a straight forward, incident free Friday for our team. As always here, it’s about understanding the difference in tyre and car performance from the hotter FP1 to the cooler FP2. Both drivers were pretty happy with the car, and we got all our test items and set-up work done.
The long-run pace and the balance of the car were quite good. However, it’s pretty tight around us as the last few races have shown, so we will work hard on improving our low fuel performance and thus our qualifying potential.”
Sauber F1 Team