Sauber F1 Team have been left thinking of what might have been following a competitive yet unfruitful run in the 2014 Grand Prix de Monaco. Adrian Sutil was the first to hit problems in his C33. He sustained front wing damage in the melee at Mirabeau, an innocent casualty of the clash between Jenson Button’s McLaren and the Force India of Sergio Perez. He would later crash out of the Grand Prix in a high speed shunt out of the tunnel. Esteban Guttierez crashed out of the race on lap 60 after hitting the barriers at Rascasse.
Despite their problems the team are hopeful of a strong result in Canada. Both Sutil and Gutierrez were on track for points before they were forced into retirement.
Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn said that the double DNF was “an unlucky way to not finish this race,” while Giampaolo Dall’Ara, the team’s head of Track Engineering added, “The positive thing was that we were competitive. That’s what we have to build on. “
Dall’Ara summed up the race succinctly when he said, “It was an eventful race, which is quite normal for Monaco. Obviously for our team it was a big disappointment, because we were competitive. We were more or less able to keep with the pace of a number of competitors, which was really positive. Today we were in a position to play a role in this race, but then the incidents happened, and we are left without points.
“Adrian damaged his front wing on lap one as a result of the Sergio Perez crash. We then changed his strategy, which worked well. Rather than doing a long stint on the soft tyres, we put him on the super soft. But then he lost the car under braking. Esteban had an issue with his starting position, but, apart from that, everything went according to plan before he hit the barrier and had to stop. We had the chance to score points today, so the end was really disappointing.”
Adrian Sutil commented, “It is a pitty that my race ended so early. I had quite a good start. In turn 5 one of the other drivers spun, and as I came around the corner many cars were suddenly stopping in front of me. I had front wing damage which forced me to make a pitstop. I went back onto track almost at the backend of the field, but I was able to gain some positions lap by lap.
“Unfortunately, coming out of the tunnel I made a mistake when braking, lost the rear and crashed into the guardrail. Certainly, I am very disappointed and I also feel sorry for the whole team.”
Guttierez was equally subdued in his post-race comments saying, “Unfortunately, I could not finish the race. It was probably the most painful mistake in my career. I touched the guardrail in Rascasse on the entry to the corner and spun, that was the end of the race. Today we had a great chance to earn some points. The start was great, as I was able to gain some positions during the first few laps which gave me a good basis for our race strategy.
“During the race I needed to take care of the tyres, but we also had to push because we had quick cars coming from behind. It is very disappointing. I really want to say sorry to everyone in the team because they all did a great job today.”