The first practice day for the Belgian Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps didn’t go exactly according to plan for the Sauber F1 Team.
In the morning, the power unit in Giedo van der Garde’s car didn’t deliver the maximum power output, and in the afternoon the failing of the Energy Recovery System (MGUK) brought Esteban Gutiérrez‘ practice session to an end after just a few laps. Meanwhile Adrian Sutil was quite happy with the performance of his car.
Esteban Gutiérrez (FP2: 17th, 1:53.955 min, 7 laps):“It was a very short Friday for me. I did not drive in the morning, then in the afternoon we had a problem with the MGUK, which cost me the second free practice. At least I was able to run some laps. We have to investigate what caused the incident. Now I am going to focus on tomorrow. We have to work a lot and get things ready for qualifying.”
Adrian Sutil (FP1: 14th, 1:53.703 min, 14 laps / FP2: 12th, 1:51.450 min, 29 laps): “It was a good day and I had a lot of fun driving on my favorite circuit. I am quite satisfied with our programme today, as we did not have any issues in the morning or in the afternoon. The balance of the car was ok, but there are still some areas which we need to optimise.”
Giedo van der Garde (FP1: 17th, 1:54.335 min, 16 laps):“It was not an ideal session for me. From the beginning on I didn’t have enough power and I struggled during all the session with this issue. I could only complete two laps during my first run. I came in quite early on so we could try to solve the problem. Afterwards, I went out again for another installation lap, but the issue was still there.
However, we had to finish our programme, and so I continued with the second run. The balance of the car was ok, but I still didn’t have enough power and I struggled a little with straight-line speed. It is a pity, but this is motorsport and sometimes these things can happen. I am sure we can solve the problem together.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “In the morning we were more or less able to run through our programme, although the power unit on Giedo’s car didn’t deliver the maximum power output. In the afternoon we had more problems on the same car, but now with Esteban behind the wheel. After only a few laps the MGUK failed and caused Esteban to spin.
He was able to make it back to the pits but couldn’t continue the practice session, which limited his running today to just seven laps. This is definitely not helpful. Adrian on his side was quite happy with the car, which is encouraging.
It looks as if we are stronger in qualifying conditions than on longer runs, where energy management plays a crucial role, and we loose top speed on the straights. We definitely need to improve our reliability.”
Sauber F1 Team