It was a disappointing Bahrain Grand Prix for the Sauber F1 Team. In an action filled race, Nico Hülkenberg finished 12th and Esteban Gutiérrez, who started last, finished in 18th. After just one lap, the Mexican had to pit because of a broken front wing. The find of the weekend was that the car is simply not competitive on this track and an improvement is expected in Barcelona.
Nico Hülkenberg, 12th, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056):
“It was a difficult and frustrating weekend. It was clear from the beginning that we were not fast enough and that it would be challenging. We are lacking speed and eat up the rear tyres too much so it simply wasn’t enough this weekend. We pitted a bit too late, because we expected to have more problems on low fuel, which in the end we didn’t have. That cost us at least one position. This weekend clearly showed we need to bring some new parts to Barcelona in order to improve our speed and fight for points.”
Esteban Gutiérrez, 18th, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056):
“I expected a difficult race and this is what I got. We need to find more speed. On the first lap I had contact down into turn 10, which was really hard to avoid. Apart from that, things were quite ok, but, of course, finishing a race like this is definitely not enough and we need to improve. We have to analyse the strategy and hopefully we will bring some good updates to Barcelona.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “We can’t be satisfied with this race. We knew this track would be difficult for our car, but this cannot be an excuse. It’s important that we gathered a lot of information over the last two races, which we will use as a basis for the development of the car. Nico drove a good race, so it is now our job to provide him with a quicker car. This race was a good example of how exciting Formula One can be.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “It was clear it would be difficult for Esteban starting at the back of the grid. Unfortunately, we had to change the front wing after the first lap. It was then impossible for him to recover from there. Nico’s race went as planned, but we were just not quick enough to score points, so we have to have a good look at our data, regroup and prepare for Barcelona.”