On its website, the Sauber F1 Team today presented the new Sauber C33-Ferrari with which its two drivers, Esteban Gutiérrez (MX, 22) and Adrian Sutil (DE, 31), will be lining up on the grid for the start of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship.
The team has signed up Giedo van der Garde (NL, 28) as its test and reserve driver as well as Sergey Sirotkin (RU, 18) as test driver. The Sauber C33-Ferrari will be rolled out in Jerez de la Frontera (ES) during the first winter test starting on 28th January.
Looking ahead to the new season, Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said: “We have put a very challenging year behind us. The first half of 2013 in particular was difficult for us, but the second half saw us making significant strides. We learnt a great deal during this time and will be applying the lessons in the new season.”
But the Team Principal is careful to make any forecasts for the new season: “Due to the radical changes in the technical regulations, predictions are simply impossible to make at this stage. Even more so than in previous years, any impression of how the teams stand against each other will only emerge once winter testing has been completed. That is also when we will announce our goals for the 2014 season. One thing’s for sure: reliability will be of the essence, especially at the beginning of the season.”
Kaltenborn is optimistic about the new brace of drivers: “Adrian is somebody we’ve been observing for some time and with whom we’ve been in contact since September. That is why I’m particularly delighted we’ve managed to get him on board. He has repeatedly demonstrated just how fast he is, and he isn’t lacking in experience either, being about to enter his seventh season. In the light of the far-reaching technical changes, that is an advantage not to be underestimated.”
“As for Esteban Gutiérrez,” the Team Principal continued, “we have long considered him to be a talented racing driver. We know him extremely well as his connections with our team go back several years. Last year he had a difficult start, but managed to steadily progress. He has also settled into the team very well. We are confident he can now turn his experience into good results.”
Adrian Sutil is delighted with his move to the Sauber F1 Team: “After six good years in the same team, it was time for me to look for a new challenge. I’m determined to have a successful future with the Sauber F1 Team and will do my bit to ensure that. In recent years the team has repeatedly demonstrated its potential, not least in the second half of the last season. And as for infrastructure, the Sauber F1 Team are a match for anybody. I can’t wait to take on the challenge!”
“Last season I had a steep learning curve,” said Esteban Gutiérrez, “but working together with the team, I was able to make steady progress. This is my fourth year with the Swiss team, and the second as a racing driver. Last year I learnt a great deal and I feel ready for the next step. The 2014 season will be a huge challenge on the technical front, which makes it all the more important to know the people you work with well. I will do everything I can to improve further and to support the team with all the resources I have.”
On January 21st, the team announced Giedo van der Garde as its test and reserve driver. Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said: “Giedo has four years of experience in GP2 and he drove one year in Formula One. These are good credentials to work successfully with our team. Many times Giedo has shown his talent as a race driver. At the same time the team would like to support him to further develop his skills. Giedo has the right attitude to take the next step forward.”
Taking on the role of test driver is 18-year-old Sergey Sirotkin of Russia. “Last year Sergey already had a chance to glean a first-hand impression of Formula One,” said Monisha Kaltenborn. “He spent several days in the factory, spoke at length with our engineers, was with the team at the Italian Grand Prix and drove 60 laps in a Ferrari in Fiorano. Our aim, as before, is to prepare him for entry into Formula One.”