Sauber F1 Team drivers Esteban Gutiérrez and Nico Hülkenberg made good progress in the first two free practice sessions for the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber C32
Nico Hulkenberg, Sauber C32

Photo by: XPB Images

They tested several aerodynamic parts which seem to work well. The goal now is to further optimise the package for the remainder of the weekend.

Esteban lost 20 minutes in the second session due to an oil leak, but despite this he was satisfied with his day on a track which was new for him.

Nico Hülkenberg: (1st Practice: 14th / 1:39.180 min - 21 laps / 2nd Practice: 17th / 1:38.211 min - 32 laps): “I think overall the day wasn’t too bad. We got quite a lot of testing done and pretty much got through all that we wanted to try.

It is quite interesting with the tyres, and it will be a challenge on Sunday with the soft compound. It is much quicker on a single lap. The modified rear wing we have here is a step forward, and the car definitely feels a bit better with it.

How much of a step this is, is difficult to say, so we have to look a little bit deeper into the data and wait until tomorrow. Overall, it was a positive day, but there is still some work ahead of us.”

Esteban Gutiérrez: (1st Practice: 18th / 1: 40.032 min - 22 laps / 2nd Practice: 13th / 1:37.103 min - 22 laps): “Generally the sessions were positive and helped us to understand what our issues are and to find a step forward. This is something that keeps us going and pointing us in the right direction.

I think there is still a lot of room for improvement. Unfortunately, at the end of the second session we had an oil leak, which, of course, is not what you want to have.

However it is good it happened now and not later in the weekend, so hopefully we will have two trouble-free days from now on.”

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “We evaluated some aerodynamic parts, including a modified rear wing and some other small parts, and they seem to be working as we hoped they would.

Unfortunately, with Esteban we had an oil leak on his car cutting short FP2 by 20 minutes. Nico had traffic on his lap with the soft tyres, but overall the drivers are reasonably happy with the car. We’ve got plenty of data to look at as we prepare for qualifying and the race.”

Sauber F1 Team