Once again, qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix held some surprises. A few minutes into Q2, the weather changed quickly with rain affecting two of the corners. As a result, both Sauber F1 Team drivers, Nico Hülkenberg and Esteban Gutiérrez, were not able to use fresh medium tyres in good conditions. Nico ended up 12th and Esteban 14th.
Nico Hülkenberg, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056): “The balance of the car is still not quite right. We went out on a set of used medium tyres in Q2. We didn’t have any information on the weather because the radar was broken. If we would have known the rain was coming we would have gone out on a new set. In general our pace wasn’t as good as I expected it to be, but nothing is lost starting from P12. We have to wait and see what the weather will be like during the race tomorrow and prepare for all conditions.”
Esteban Gutiérrez, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056): “Unfortunately, we were not able to extract the most out of the car in Q2. We went out too late on new tyres and were caught out in the rain. The team brought the set-up of the car to a really good base from FP3 to qualifying, which was something very positive. Now we are looking forward to the race. We have to analyse everything and get a good strategy together for tomorrow in order to be in the points.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “We knew that qualifying would be a big challenge. During free practice 3 we learned a lot, which will be of particular importance during the race. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to exploit the full potential in Q2 due to the weather changing quickly, however, we are confident for a strong race.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “It was an eventful qualifying session. Ultimately in Q2 we were unlucky because we weren’t able to get out on new medium tyres. But starting from P12 and P14 with plenty of fresh dry and wet tyres the goal will be to score points with both cars.”