The new comprehensive package showed a positive improvement during the first two days, but it needs fine tuning.
During qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix both Sauber F1 Team drivers struggled as they were not satisfied with the balance of the car. Adrian Sutil had difficulties getting temperature into the tyres and finished Q1 in P17. Esteban Gutiérrez qualified 14th. However, the new comprehensive package showed a positive improvement during the first two days, but it needs fine tuning. This work will be continued during the test next week.
Esteban Gutiérrez (Qualifying: 14th in Q2, 1:28.374 min): “That was the maximum we could achieve today. Considering the difficulties I had yesterday, the team did an excellent job to put things right for today. We definitely still have issues which we have to solve, but being closer to the competition is motivating us. Obviously, we are not completely satisfied with today’s outcome, but with some more work we can find the last tenths to be in the top ten. We need to take out the positive and analyse the negative. For tomorrow it will be a big challenge because the track temperature will probably be quite high, and the tyres are difficult to handle under these conditions. As always, we will do our best.”
Adrian Sutil (Qualifying: 17th in Q1, 1:28.563 min): “This was obviously not the result I had hoped for. But that’s how it can be in qualifying. Unfortunately, we worked in the wrong direction today. In the third free practice I struggled to get temperature into the tyres, but in qualifying it was exactly the opposite. The tyres overheated significantly. We realised this after the second run and tried to improve it for the final run. We succeeded to a certain extent, but most of the settings were already done and we couldn’t change much. I believe this cost us almost a second per lap and several grid positions. So we missed our goal. Nevertheless, we learned something today, and I am positive we can still achieve something from where I am starting. With a good pace in the race I will be where I should be at the end.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “Thanks to our improvements, which we brought here on the car, we managed to reduce the gap to the midfield contenders. However, it was clear to us this would not yet be reflected in our grid positions. Nevertheless, the team in Hinwil deserves a big compliment for getting this very comprehensive development package ready for this race. Obviously, we now have to do some further fine tuning, which we will be able to do in next week’s test here in Barcelona. I expect we will be more competitive in the race than we have been so far. We have to be ready to grab any opportunities as they present themselves.“
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “The positive thing is we were able to reduce the gap to our midfield competitors. This was the first target we gave ourselves for this event. I’m not sure that we will be in a position to fight for points tomorrow, but they are not far away. We are not there yet with the balance of the car. It’s clear the aero package has more potential, but it needs further fine tuning. The fact that the tyres are too hard here didn’t help either. Therefore it was not easy to get the maximum out of the car. For Adrian this worked better yesterday, and for Esteban today. Nevertheless, the good thing is we are now part of the midfield pack.“
Sauber F1 Team