Sauber: A disappointing result which does not reflect our performance

24 November, 2013

Saturday was, yet again, a wet day for the third free practice session and qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix in Interlagos. It wasn’t easy for the drivers to find the right window to put in the best lap time possible as the intensity of the rain changed throughout the sessions. In these tricky conditions Nico Hülkenberg, yet again, made it into Q3 and qualified tenth. Esteban Gutiérrez was out in Q1 and qualified 18th.

Nico Hülkenberg: Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056):

  • Qualifying: 10th in Q3 (1:29.582 / Intermediate tyres)
  • 3rd practice: 5th (1:28.830 min / Intermediate tyres / 15 laps)

“Reaching Q3 today was a success. It’s been wet the whole weekend, and we’ve not been as competitive as I would have liked as we had problems with the balance of the car. It was difficult to nail every corner as the track was extremely slippery. At the beginning of the season we were better on wet tyres and not so competitive on slicks, but now it seems to be the opposite. I think it will be an exciting race tomorrow and let’s wait and see what the weather will be like.”

Esteban Gutiérrez: Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056):

  • Qualifying: 18th in Q1 (1:27.445 min /Intermediate tyres)
  • 3rd practice: 7th (1:29.215 min / Intermediate tyres / 21 laps)

“The track was dry on the first lap. However, I made a mistake in the last corner and was just not able to recover what I gained in sectors one and two. After that it started to rain quite a lot and it was hard to catch up. It’s disappointing. The car felt ok, it had a bit of oversteer, but that shouldn’t have been too much of a problem. Starting 18th tomorrow will be challenging, but we have to work with what we’ve got.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “It’s a disappointing result today, and it does not reflect our performance during the weekend so far. We struggled to be competitive in this weekend’s conditons. Depending on the weather, this can change tomorrow. A dry race would be favourable for us.”

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “Throughout the weekend we have not been happy with the balance of the car in the intermediate and wet conditions, so we elected to do a lot of running in FP3 to try to improve the balance of the car. We made some progress, but ultimately we we’re not as competitive as we wanted to be in these conditions, so our Qualifying results reflect that. In Q1 Esteban was unfortunate not to put his three fastest sectors together, as his theoretical best time would have easily put him through to Q2. There is a slight risk of rain tomorrow, but it is still a risk, so we will work hard to get the most out of the car.”

Subbed by AJN.


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