The rainy qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai left the two Sauber F1 Team drivers, Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutiérrez, with mixed feelings. While Sutil put in a good performance and made it into Q2, Gutiérrez suffered a technical problem with the brake-by-wire system and got stuck in Q1. He ended up 17th.
Esteban Gutiérrez, #21, Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari), 17th: “Today we had tricky and difficult conditions. At the same time, I am frustrated as I could have made it into Q2.On my last lap I had an unexpected technical issue from Turn 6 on. The brake-by-wire went to the safety mode, so the feeling in the brake pedal and the brake balance changed. I had to deal with this issue through most of my last lap, but, nevertheless, I almost made into Q2. Unfortunately, I then made a mistake in the last corner. For the race tomorrow we have to be consistent and take advantage of every opportunity that comes up. This is the only way to push forward. We are still waiting for the car updates which will be in Barcelona. There we expect to make a step forward.”
Adrian Sutil, #99, Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari), 14th: “I am satisfied with today’s qualifying. Although the conditions were not easy, I am happy that we got through to Q2. This is a better performance in comparison to the last qualifying sessions. We were able to benefit from the wet conditions and it was better than under the dry ones. This is a small step and I hope we continue with this trend. There is still a lot to do, but it is great that we are not starting from the back rows. We can build on this. We did a lot of set-up changes for the wet conditions and we are satisfied with the performance of the car. Now we hope that we also have a good race tomorrow. If the conditions are dry for the race, I believe it will be difficult for us. However, we have to look forward and try to make up positions.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “This qualifying showed the technical measures we took for this race had a positive effect and point to the right direction. This was mainly reflected in Adrian’s result. Esteban suffered a technial problem, which led to him not making it through from Q1. Nevertheless, we were able to reduce the gap to our direct competitors. This gives us confidence for the coming races, where we will introduce further development steps.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “This qualifying reflects more or less where we currently are. Adrian did a solid job and qualified 14th while Esteban was hindered by a technical issue with the brake-by-wire system, which we have to look into. Finally he just missed Q2. According to the weather forecast for tomorrow the conditions should be dry, so the picture could be different in the race.”