Sauber are continuing to struggle and now find themselves down in tenth position in the constructors’ championship after Marussia finally ended their pointless run at Monaco. It could have been so much better for the Swiss team however as Esteban Gutierrez was running in the points before a silly accident at La Rascasse ended his race. Adrian Sutil had also made up some places from his lowly grid slot before he crashed coming out of the tunnel.
They move onto Montreal hoping for a change of luck and to reclaim the ninth position ahead again of Marussia. Gutierrez retired towards the end of the race in Canada last season and will be hoping to see the chequered flag this weekend. Despite the disappointing start, he feels positive moving forward.
“The track in Montreal requires a high top speed as well as good mechanical grip,” said Gutierrez. “The surface is quite slippery there, so the tyre compound will be important. The way the tyres warm up is especially significant, because we have to keep in mind that they have a lot of time to cool down on the long straights. The track itself is a combination of a street and permanent circuit. There is a lot of history behind the Canadian Grand Prix, and it is a traditional race. Overall, it is a nice event.
“We have to approach the race weekend with a positive mindset. The whole team is pushing very hard to improve our current situation.”
Team-mate Sutil has a best finish of tenth in his five visits to Montreal, but admits he always looks forward to this event. He goes into the weekend with hope the track suits the Sauber C33 better than previous tracks have.
“I am looking forward to the Canadian Grand Prix,” said Sutil. “It is a nice track and I like racing there. Because of the many long straights, you can easily overtake. That’s why the races there are mostly quite exciting. On the other hand there quite a few chicanes as well. That requires a relatively smooth car set-up, as you need to ride the kerbs. Generally the engine power and brake balance are important.
“The weather also comes into play, as in the last couple of years it has occasionally started to rain during the races. I hope this track suits us better than the ones before.”
The head of Track Engineering at Sauber Giampaolo Dall’Ara says the Sauber will receive some more updates for the Canadian Grand Prix, and with it being the first low-downforce track of the season, he is hopeful for a better weekend.
“The Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve is the first track on the calendar where specific wings are used with the objective to reduce the drag at the cost of some downforce,” said Dall’Ara. “It will be extremely interesting to see how the teams will balance the higher efficiency requirements with their 2014 power units. The alternation between long straights and low speed corners makes a demand for sheer speed, braking stability, quick change of direction and good traction, as well as smooth riding of the bumps and kerbs.
“The C33 will get some fine aerodynamic upgrades and, of course, a specific rear wing. The soft and super soft compounds allocated by Pirelli may offer some interesting scenarios on the race strategy side.”