The Sauber Formula One team heads to the Chinese Grand Prix next weekend with aspirations of getting both cars into the points for the first time this season.
Nico Hulkenberg scored the Swiss team’s first points of 2013 at Malaysia with a strong eighth place finish, a week after failing to start the Australian Grand Prix due to a technical problem.
“The circuit in Shanghai is not particularly one of my favourite tracks, nevertheless it’s a demanding one, especially the first few corners and the corners before the back straight. Tyres and strategy will be very important during the weekend. At the beginning of the race in Malaysia my rear wing endplate was damaged, which caused a loss of downforce,” the German said.
“I have a better feeling now I have driven my first race in the C32, especially because we were able to collect a lot of information. In Malaysia we scored points and that is also my goal for China.”
Meanwhile, it has been a baptism of fire for Sauber’s rookie, Esteban Gutierrez. The Mexican youngster has missed out on points in his first two races, recording a 13th and 12th place finishes at Melbourne and Sepang.
“I don’t actually know the track yet, so it will be an interesting challenge again to learn the circuit and then to develop confidence throughout the practice sessions. I have heard it is a very complex track with some fast corners and, at the same time, is very technical. Learning a new track all depends on the approach you take,” he said.
“You can learn a lot through video footage, your engineer’s advice on the right gears in different parts of the track and, most important of all, the more confidence you have in your car the easier it is to learn a new one. Compared to the first race in Melbourne, I now know the car so I can focus on learning the track. My goal is to improve and I’m looking forward to that.”
“We analysed the data that we collected in Malaysia and found interesting directions for the development of the car, therefore we will bring several test parts to Shanghai. Having secured our first points of the season in Malaysia, we are eager to add to them as soon as possible,” Tom McCullough, head of track engineering, added.