Sauber pin hopes on low downforce setup

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Canada, Circuit Gilles Villeneuveca

Both Sauber F1 Team drivers made it into Q2 of today's qualifying session, but could not progress from there. It was tough luck for Nico Hülkenberg, as the red flag was waved 200 meters before the finish line on a flying lap that would have brought him into Q3. He ended up P11, while Esteban Gutiérrez qualified 15th.

Nico Hülkenberg, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056): “It was really bad luck today. I was on a good lap and could have made Q3, but then the red flag came out 200 meters before the finish line. But I think, after a difficult day yesterday, today we improved quite a bit and P11 is not too bad to start from - it’s close to the points. According to the weather forecast it’s going to be dry and warmer than it has been all weekend. We have to wait and see how competitive we can be.”

Esteban Gutiérrez, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056): “The conditions today were very tricky. I was trying to find the limit of the car, and getting grip was difficult. A red flag interrupted Q2, and then it was quite a challenge to put a lap together. Although FP3 was shortened, we were able to get an idea of what would be possible in qualifying. We are pushing the window to the top ten and we need to keep fighting for Q3. For the race tomorrow we are not sure about the weather, but I suppose it’s going to be dry. This can be good for us, because we decided on a low downforce set-up. Hopefully this will help us to overtake.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “It was an exciting qualifying. The team improved significantly compared to yesterday. The fact that Nico didn’t make it into Q3 was tough luck. From where we are now, we have a good base for the race tomorrow and points should be possible.”

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “After a difficult Friday we got a lot more out of the car today, and the drivers handled the difficult qualifying conditions very well. Ultimately Nico was unlucky with his final lap before the red flag. He had completed the final corner and was on the way to the line when the red flag came out. His lap time would have taken him easily through to Q3. That’s a bit disappointing, but from P11 and P15 we can still score points on a track like this. The car should be strong tomorrow in the race.”


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