The Monaco Grand Prix did not produce the result the Sauber F1 Team hoped for. During a race that saw quite a few accidents, two Safety Cars and one red flag, Sauber F1 Team drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez finished 11th and 13th respectively. The reason for a result like that was the difficulty in making the tyres work on this challenging street circuit.
Nico Hülkenberg, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056), 11th: “We couldn’t expect any miracles today, and yesterday we weren’t in the top ten either. Today we just lacked speed throughout the race. Unlike most of the other drivers, I started on soft tyres at the re-start, which was ok in the beginning. But, after another Safety Car, the tyres never came back to life again. The rears especially degraded a lot. When I got out of the car I could see the steel belt, so it’s no wonder the pace wasn’t good enough anymore. It’s a shame, as that point would have been ours.”
Esteban Gutiérrez, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056), 13th: “It was very challenging to bring the car back home without any scratches or a crash. The first Safety Car compromised our strategy and in the end we just had to make the best out of that situation. We couldn’t expect to score points, but I did my best to use every opportunity I had to gain positions. Nevertheless, it was also important to not go over the limit and finish the race. I had a good re-start and was able to fight, but one of the points where we have to improve is the top speed in order to be able to fight for positions. It was tough with Williams in front and Lotus behind. On the other hand, I need to work so I can cope better with changing conditions in qualifying.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “We are disappointed with the result today, because we were in a position to score points. The first safety car period compromised our strategy. But the most surprising thing for us was that we couldn’t gain an advantage with our choice of tyres for the re-start. Although Nico was on soft tyres - the harder compound - the degradation was higher than that of our competitors, who were on super softs. Both drivers drove well, but the car simply wasn’t good enough on this track. We still believe, however, the measures we took will show an improvement again in the next race.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “It was a typical eventful Monaco race with several Safety Car periods and a red flag. Both drivers drove well today, but ultimately the car was quite hard on its tyres. The degradation was too high, and the overall pace was not quick enough to score points. So we need to regroup and prepare for Montreal in two week’s time.”