The Sauber F1 Team comes out of Qualifying for the Hungarian GP with mixed feelings. The new parts the team brought to Hungary are a step forward, but they did not translate fully into results.
Right at the beginning of free practice three Esteban noted a problem with the engine. Eventually the engine had to be changed and left him watching the rest of FP3 from the pit wall. He came 17th, while Nico Hülkenberg put in a great lap and missed Q3 by just three hundredths.
Nico Hülkenberg, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056): “It was just eight hundredths of a second to P8, so even less to P10. The midfield is very tight at the moment. But I’m not disappointed, because I did a very good lap and this was pretty much the maximum I was able to get out of the car. I think we can be fairly happy with P12, as realistically that’s where we are, and we can certainly race from there. Tomorrow I’ll have to get a good start and can hopefully battle for one or two points.”
Esteban Gutiérrez, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056): “Today didn’t go the way we wanted it to. It has been quite challenging with the loss of track time we had this morning. This is obviously not ideal, but I thought it wasn’t going to be that much of a problem, so it is quite disappointing to come into qualifying and have this kind of result. I expected to be closer to the front and to get into Q2. We had the pace, for sure. However, the track conditions changed massively from yesterday to today and it was very hard to adapt to that in just one lap. Tomorrow is going to be a long race. I have to get a good start and from then on try to move up the field.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “We came to Hungary with a couple of modifications and the results on track confirmed our expectations. The whole field is very close together. For Nico it was extremely tight with just eight hundredths of a second missing to P8. He will now start 12th and aim at a points finish. Of course, Esteban suffered in qualifying from the track time he lost this morning in FP3. It will be a difficult race for him tomorrow, and he simply has to approach the situation as best as he can.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “Esteban unfortunately lost FP3 due to an engine problem, and that is particularly costly when the margins are so small. Nico was happy with the car in qualifying, and to miss out on Q3 by just three hundredths of a second is always frustrating. Both drivers have plenty of new tyres left for the race tomorrow, and our aim will be to make the most of that.”