In the night qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Sauber's Esteban Gutiérrez was able to make it into Q2, finishing 15th, while Adrian Sutil had to abort his final quick lap due to traffic and ended up 18th. Because of blocking other drivers, Sutil was also handed a 5-place grid penalty, requiring him to start from the very back of the grid.
Esteban Gutiérrez, #21, Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari), 15th: “I am satisfied with the result of qualifying today. We managed to put together some fast laps. I want to thank my team; they did a good job in finding the right balance from my feedback. We need to look forward and still work hard, because we are missing quite a lot of pace to be where we want to be. I have a great team and we are all working hard. Today it was the optimum I could get out of the car on my last really good lap. With the lower temperatures the tyres are behaving in a different way. I feel positive for the race tomorrow, but with our pace we cannot be in the top ten at the moment. However, I am sure if we work consistently we can get some points in the future.”
Adrian Sutil #99, Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari), 18th: “Today there was not much to achieve. However, making it into Q2 could have been possible. Unfortunately, we are still too slow on the straights, and I am personally struggling with the fact the car is overweight. I only had one lap, as I had traffic on my second run. This resulted in aborting my final lap. We have to concentrate on tomorrow, and we need to be better in the race. However, it will be difficult to finish in the points. We are working on the car, and I think when we get to Europe we will be able to move further up the grid. I am looking forward to that and I will put all my efforts into it.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “With our performance we are not where we want to be, and this is being reflected in the qualifying result on a track which, as well as everything else, has traditionally been quite a challenge for our team. We will do our best in the race, but first and foremost we will focus on implementing a development step which will take us forward.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “In FP3 Adrian did some runs on high fuel in order to recover from the time he lost yesterday. In qualifying our goal was to make it to Q2, which worked out for Esteban, but not for Adrian, who had to abort his final quick lap due to traffic. This qualifying result reflects more or less where we realistically are. Technically everything went according to plan, but the limiting factor is our performance, which we have to work on. As this track is quite heavy on fuel consumption, fuel management might, therefore, be a factor in the race.“