The Sauber F1 Team qualified sixth (Nico Hülkenberg) and 17th (Esteban Gutiérrez) for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hülkenberg was able to put in a strong performance and get the maximum out of the car yet again. At the same time, a combination of unfortunate circumstances led to Gutiérrez missing his second timed lap by just a few seconds.
Nico Hülkenberg, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056), 6th: “It was a perfect lap and I could really get the maximum out of the car. Overtaking won’t be easy on this track. There are the two DRS zones, and in the past there have been a few overtaking manoeuvres, but I think we have a good top-speed. We were able to be in the top ten all weekend and I am confident this will continue to be the case tomorrow as well.”
Esteban Gutiérrez, Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056), 17th: “It’s very disappointing to start P17, because our pace is really good. We were on a push, pull, push strategy and ran out of time for the second push. The call was tricky, as on the first lap I ran into traffic and for the second push we ran out of time, so I didn’t get the chance to set a lap. It was clearly a mistake, and we were only missing a few seconds.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “Once again qualifying showed how competitive our car is. Unfortunately, this is not reflected in the results of both cars. As always, Nico showed an excellent performance today and used the car’s potential to its maximum. Unfortunately Q1 didn’t go to plan for Esteban. It was a combination of mistakes that didn’t get him through to Q2. A big thank you to the team here at the racetrack. Everyone worked very hard to make the car this competitive. Now we have to concentrate on the race tomorrow.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “After a clean and competitive free practice three, overall we are very happy to have Nico in sixth. He extracted the maximum out of the car today, so all credit is due to him. Unfortunately Esteban’s Q1 was compromised first of all by traffic during his first lap and then, as we were preparing for the final push lap, the focus on getting out of people’s way resulted in missing the start of his final lap by a very small margin, which is clearly disappointing. Tomorrow is what counts, we had strong race pace on Friday, and it’s clear our goal is to score points.”