Sauber's promising qualifying fails to pay off

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Brazil, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagosbr

After both Sauber F1 Team drivers had shown strong performances in quite cold conditions on Saturday in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix, they struggled on a much warmer track on Sunday. In the beginning, Esteban Gutiérrez dropped down the ranking to finish 14th while team mate Adrian Sutil finished 16th, having started from the pitlane.

Esteban Gutiérrez, car #21, Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari): “We fought all the way through the race, and it was looking good until half distance. When I tried to fight with a car in front of me I lost a lot of grip and the tyres quickly started to overheat. It was very difficult to cope with the tyre grip. There is one more race, and we have to keep pushing in order to accomplish our objective to score points.”

Adrian Sutil, car #99, Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 02/Ferrari): “It was an uneventful race for me. I had to start from the pit lane due to a problem with the cooling configuration. It is a pity, as we quite often have problems. As a driver you give your best in qualifying, but then you have to start the race from the last position. In addition, there was an incident during my first pit stop, which cost me some time. It is frustrating, but we did our best today.”

Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “Today’s result is very disappointing. Esteban had a promising starting position and a good chance to score a point, which could unfortunately not be achieved. Adrian’s opportunities were reduced after he had to start the race from the pit lane, and lost some time during his first pit stop.”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “Our biggest problem today was that our expectations in terms of weather were wrong. We had prepared our cars for a cooler day, which was the forecast. However, the temperatures were significantly higher than predicted. This made our day pretty difficult. On Adrian’s car we had to change the cooling configuration, and, as a result, he started from the pit lane. For Esteban we decided to start him from his grid position and use a slightly more conservative approach on the performance side. His pace was good in the beginning and put him in a position to fight for a point, but shortly before the end his lap times were temporarily slower. We can’t see anything on the data, so we have to look at it with the driver to understand what happened. We were really looking forward to scoring the final point. Adrian had a difficult Sunday, being forced to start from the pit lane. He also lost five seconds at the first pit stop.“