Sauber draws positives from difficult Hungarian GP

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The Sauber F1 Team was not able to score points at the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest. Esteban Gutiérrez had to retire on lap 28 because of a gearbox problem. Nico Hülkenberg lost his chance of points because of speeding in the pit lane, which earned him a drive through penalty. He eventually finished 11th.

The team is optimistic however as the tyre management and overall performance of the C32 improved compared to previous races.

Nico Hülkenberg, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056), 11th: “The race was all right up until the second pit stop. I had trouble shifting from first to second gear. There is only a certain window where you are able to do that, otherwise it won’t shift. That didn’t work, it got hectic and somehow I must have released the button too early. Without the drive through penalty we could have clinched one point. Overall, our pace was ok, but not good enough to get into the points easily. Now I’m looking forward to the three weeks off, to get some sun and relax at the beach.”

Esteban Gutiérrez, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056), DNF: “It was a pity what happened. We were on a good strategy and everything was running as planned. Unfortunately, we had to retire due to a gearbox problem. This is not really the best way to finish a race, but we did everything we could during the weekend. We had an engine problem yesterday and now the gearbox during the race, so this is something we have to look at to avoid it happening again. It is frustrating, but we need to stay positive and look forward to the next events, because we can see our performance has improved. The car felt very good up until that point, and I want to thank the team for all the effort it put in. Now we have to solve the issues we had in order to have trouble-free weekends.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “We expected to get one or two points today. Unfortunately, we knew early on this wasn’t going to happen. Esteban had to retire because of a gearbox problem. Nico had a good race, however, an unfortunate issue with the pit lane speed limiter earned him a drive through penalty. This ruined any chance we had of getting into the points. On the positive side, we now know we are more competitive. We are optimistic going into the second half of the season.”

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “Starting from P12 and P17 on this kind of circuit always makes it a hard race. Unfortunately, Nico also lost positions on the first lap, having had a good start initially. He ended up P15 at the end of the first lap. With Esteban’s car we had a gearbox problem, which we need to investigate. Unfortunately when exiting the pit lane, Nico had a problem with the activation of the pit limiter, resulting in a drive through penalty, therefore ruining any chance of points today. Going forward, we can take positives from the better tyre management and pace we showed today. We’ll return after the summer break more competitive than we started the season.”