There were mixed feelings for the Sauber F1 Team during a rainy qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang: While Esteban was 12th, Adrian has to be satisfied with 18th on the grid because of a red flag on his last lap.
Esteban Gutiérrez, #21, Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari), 12th: “It was a good qualifying. In the morning we were really busy and we tried to put everything together. Everyone did a great job, and we managed to overcome some small issues to have a reliable car. I really want to thank my team and also Ferrari, as they have been working very hard to further improve the power unit. The conditions on the track were quite tough. However, we managed to improve the car during qualifying, trying to adapt the aero balance and also the tyre pressures. It was a good day. P12 is a great starting position considering our overall performance. Tomorrow we are going to do our best.”
Adrian Sutil, #99, Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari), 18th: “Our strategy was to get out onto the track a bit later, as the track normally has the best conditions at this stage. However, more rain started to fall again. We would have improved, but due to the red flag we did not have any more time left. The car was very difficult to drive in these conditions, as the tyres never had enough grip. There is a lot of work ahead of us. At the moment it is difficult to drive a good lap. We need to improve step by step and be patient.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “This was a typical Malaysia qualifying in wet conditions, where it was all about delivering the maximum performance at the right moment. With positions 12 and 18 we are only partly satisfied, but overall it has been a good weekend for us so far. Our cars worked reliably, and we were able to make progress with the power unit and the braking. Now it will be important to keep this reliability for the race, which might put us in a position to score a strong result.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “Adrian had the potential to make it to Q2, but, when he was trying to improve his lap time right before the end of the session, he was hindered by the red flag and consequently got stuck in Q1. He was struggling a lot all weekend trying to make the tyres work, which is something we have to look into. Esteban did a good job, grabbing 12th position. He did everything right and was on the correct tyres at the right time. Tomorrow, a lot will depend on the weather. As things looked today, it might be easier for us to race in the wet while our long run performance in the dry still has potential for improvement.“