The Sauber F1 Team ended their dreadful year with another point-less race, with neither Esteban Gutierrez nor Adrian Sutil able to break into the all-important top ten during the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, meaning the team were classified tenth in the Constructors’ Championship.
Gutierrez could only finish fifteenth, but was able to make an aggressive two-stop strategy work to get ahead of his team-mate. He thanked everyone within the Sauber team as he makes his departure from the team after two years racing in Formula 1 with them.
“A race during which I fought from the beginning to the end,” said Gutierrez. “We managed to keep our planned two-stop-strategy, which was quite an aggressive one. On my last stint I had to drive as many laps as possible on this set of tyres, which worked out for us. I was pushing every lap, but at the same time I had to manage the tyres.
“I want to thank every team member; it was a pleasure to have worked with the Sauber F1 Team. I wish everyone all the best for the future.”
Sutil could only finish sixteenth after being forced to abandon a two-stop strategy in favour of a three-stop strategy. He felt he had made a good start but a clash with the McLaren of Kevin Magnussen at the exit of turn seven on the opening lap cost him momentum and a number of places.
“It was a normal race,” said Sutil. “I had quite a good start. Afterwards Kevin drove into my car, and I dropped back many positions. I still cannot say if my car was damaged or not. After this incident I tried my best to get back into the race. However, we had to switch to another strategy with three pit stops, which was not ideal.
“In general the pace was not good enough, so a better result would have been difficult to achieve. Finally, I want to thank the engineers and mechanics who have all worked very hard throughout the season.”
Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn was disappointed to see her team fail to secure points for the first time in the Teams’ history, having debuted back in 1993. Despite that, Kaltenborn feels everyone within the team worked hard, and will return in 2015 with a fresh impetus.
“First of all, I want to congratulate Lewis Hamilton on winning the title, and the Mercedes team for an impressive dominant and outstanding season,” said Kaltenborn. “Coming to our team, 15th and 16th in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix are typical of the 2014 season, which was a huge disappointment. Everyone within the team worked very hard, but we could not achieve the results we aimed for.
“We were not able to score points, which has never happened before in the history of the team. There are many reasons for this. However, it does not make sense to point fingers. We will draw our conclusions and will initiate the right actions. We will move on and use our entire energy to bring the team back to where it was before, and where it should be.”
Kaltenborn thanked every member of the team for the season, including her race drivers Gutierrez and Sutil, plus test driver Giedo van der Garde, all of whom have driven for the team for the final time.
“I want to thank every member of the team – mechanics, engineers, the employees at the factory and our drivers,” said Kaltenborn. “A special thanks goes to Esteban Gutierrez who was part of this team for five years, first as an affiliated driver and afterwards for two years as a race driver. We were with him through good and bad times. Esteban was always loyal to the team.
“Adrian surely expected more from this season, as we also did. With the issues we had with the C33 he was not able to deliver results which we as a team and he wished for.
“Giedo van der Garde did a great job as test and reserve driver. We thank all of them, and wish them all the best for the future.”