Sauber F1 Team could only manage to finish the Chinese Grand Prix with one car as a disappointing weekend for both drivers finally came to an end.
Adrian Sutil was forced to retire on lap six with an engine problem while his teammate Esteban Gutierrez could only manage to finish 16th.
Sutil realised on the formation lap that his engine was not working properly. The German fell to the back of the field after a couple of laps and was forced to retire as the issue couldn’t be resolved quickly.
“Unfortunately it was a very short race for me,” said Sutil. “During the formation lap I already had problems – I realised the engine was not working properly. At the start I had almost no power.”
“I lost a lot of positions during the first lap and fell back to last. I did a few more laps, but then went back to the pits. The team tried to solve the issue, but we could not do it quickly. I had to retire.”
In the early stages of the race Gutierrez showed signs of decent pace but as the race continued tyre wear became a big problem. As the rear tyres lost most of their grip which forced the Mexican to switch from a two-stop to a three-stop.
“It was a very complicated race in terms of tyre management,” said Gutierrez. “With these kind of temperatures the prime tyres were not really working for us. We had to do a three stop strategy, which ended up as a disadvantage for us. With our current pace we could not have higher expectations in terms of our results.”
Despite the teams recent setbacks Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn remains bullish about how the team can move on. “We are obviously not happy with this kind of performance. We are going through a tough time, but this is no reason for us to bury our heads in the sand. We need to continue working in a focused way and make sure we get the maximum from our development package for the next race in Barcelona.”
And Barcelona is exactly where Sutil and Gutierrez are looking forward too. Gutierrez said: “I have total faith in my team, everybody is putting their best efforts into everything. I believe that Barcelona is the place where we can recover, make a step forward and fight for better positions and points.”