More than half way through the 2014 Formula One Season and the Sauber F1 Team have yet to score their first points of the year. Heading into the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring, both Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil are hopeful that their pointless run can come to an end sooner rather than later, perhaps in Hungary.
Gutierrez had a quiet race to fourteenth in Hockenheim last weekend, but heads into Hungary looking forward to getting back out on track. He admits enjoying driving around the Hungaroring, but expects another tricky weekend as he seeks his first points of 2014.
“The Hungaroring has a different characteristic in comparison to other circuits on the calendar,” said Gutierrez. “It is a very interesting track, and I enjoy driving there. The circuit consists of many low and medium-speed corners. As it is quite bumpy, it will affect the mechanical set-up of the car.
“Due to the traditional high temperatures, it is demanding for the tyres. There is a lot of tyre degradation as the track has some corners with right-left combinations. Although this can give us some opportunities, and we can work on different strategies. I like being at the Hungaroring, so I am looking forward to going there again. The team keeps working hard, and we hope to be in a better position at the Hungarian Grand Prix.”
Team-mate Sutil could have scored the teams first points of the season in Germany but spun out exiting the final corner after a car issue. The German thinks the race deserves its place on the calendar, but he believes he is long overdue a good result and his first points of the season.
“The Hungarian Grand Prix is a great event with many fans who are passionate about racing,” said Sutil. “The track itself is quite short, but very challenging with many corners, and it is not easy to put a perfect lap together. You need a lot of grip, as there are several slow corners.
“The Hungaroring is interesting, and it is definitely good to have it on the calendar. It is the second slowest track after Monaco. Our chances are difficult to predict, but I am ready for a good result and hope for a great race. Budapest is a picturesque city with a lot of history and beautiful buildings.”
Head of Track Engineering at Sauber Giampaolo Dall’Ara expects the race in Hungary to be another sweltering hot affair, and knows the importance of efficient cooling the cars will need on track.
“The back-to-back race at Budapest is another ‘hot’ event, temperature-wise,” said Dall’Ara. “Compared to Hockenheim, the set-up of the car isn’t that different, although the time spent on straights is considerably less and the low to medium-speed corners dominate. The aerodynamic requirements can be briefly summarised to be high downforce wings and efficient cooling.
“The track surface is more abrasive than in Hockenheim, therefore, the Pirelli medium and soft tyres have been allocated for this track.”