Qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg ended in a disappointment for the Sauber F1 Team. Adrian Sutil finished in 17th while his team mate Esteban Gutiérrez ended just one position behind him. Both drivers struggled particularly in turn eight with the inconsistent balance of the car.
Esteban Gutiérrez, car #21, Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari), 18th: “We knew from FP3 that it would be a tough qualifying. At the moment we are quite limited and the amount of time we are missing is definitely not satisfying. We need to keep on working because other teams are catching up. Regarding the track, turn eight is tough in terms of track limits. We did not have the penalty for exceeding the limits on Friday, but today and also for the race we will have it. When you push and get into the corner with a higher speed, it is a risk to go out of the track’s limits. That is another characteristic we need to address. However, I am looking forward for the race as anything can happen.”
Adrian Sutil, car #99, Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari), 17th: “The qualifying procedure went well and the team sent me out on track at the right time, so that I was not hindered by other drivers. The set-up of the car was the best today in comparison to the rest of the weekend. On my fast lap, I was pushing to the limit and and managed to get the maximum out of the car. Obviously, 17th position is not satisfying, but at the moment we cannot move up, which we have to accept in our current situation. For tomorrow’s race, we hope to achieve more.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “The weekend so far showed that this track is a difficult one for us. This is also being reflected in the result of qualifying. Under the circumstances, Adrian’s final lap was fine in sectors one and two, but we are surprised that we lost so much time today in sector three. We will do everything possible in the race to keep up with the pace of the cars in front of us in order to be ready in case there are any opportunities.“
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “Unexpectedly, the track temperatures were still on the cold side in the morning, which led us a little bit adrift with the balance of the car. The brakes were locking more than before, so we made some changes before qualifying. In Q1 things went okay technically, but the pace was simply not there. Our biggest problem was corner eight, where the cars were snappy in mid-corner, which made it difficult for the drivers to keep the cars on track. We have to analyse the data in order to understand why this happened.”