In qualifying for the Italian GP in Monza Sauber F1 Team Driver Nico Hülkenberg was able to put a sensational session together, qualifying third. He improved throughout the sessions and in the end put a perfect lap together. Esteban Gutiérrez was not so lucky. After a good practise session in the morning, he missed out on Q2 and will start 17th tomorrow.
Nico Hülkenberg, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056), 3rd: “I am happy. This was a nice surprise for all of us. I didn’t expect that after a very difficult Friday. Yesterday we struggled a lot with the car and the guys have done a fantastic job turning it around to give me such a competitive car today. It is a highlight for the whole team. Such a result will lift our spirits. During qualifying the car just got better and better and the track improved as well. We made the right decision to go for one timed lap in Q3 and then this happened. I hope the long run pace is good tomorrow. A big thank you to the whole team and everyone in Hinwil, who have been working hard and have never given up in this difficult year.”
Esteban Gutiérrez, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056), 13th: “It’s quite disappointing, because we had a good pace and a good rhythm in practice this morning. It was quite surprising to get a result like that in qualifying. The field is very tight and competitive, and it was quite a tricky session. After FP3 this morning I felt in good shape. Everything was working reasonably and now we have to analyse why we are missing more than four tenths to Nico. It’s challenging, but we need to keep pushing.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “We are very happy with a result like that. Of course, there are two sides to it. Step by step we could see the development of the car was going in the right direction. On top of that the engineers did a fantastic job, working all night to turn the car around. In addition the driver has to get the most out of the car, deliver a perfect lap. Esteban drove very well over the last few races, so we hope he will be able to get the most out of the car tomorrow as well.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “A fantastic result after a difficult Friday when we evaluated some new parts getting the most out of the package. The engineers worked very hard throughout all the sessions to improve the cars for qualifying, and, as always, the grid in Monza is very tight. Every lap he did, Nico chipped away finding more and more in himself and the car, and he executed a perfect Q3 lap to clinch P3 on the grid. This is obviously a little bit above our competitiveness from a race performance point of view, but our aim for sure is to improve our points tally. Esteban had been very strong in free practice but was unlucky to miss Q2 by just two tenths of a second. However, I’m sure he will race well tomorrow.”