Sauber was happy to collect their first points of the 2013 Formula One season thanks to Nico Hulkenberg’s eight place finish at today’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
Hulkenberg thrived in the tricky conditions early in the race and was able to maintain position late on, enjoying a terrific battle with last weekend’s winner in Australia, Kimi Raikkonen. It was particularly rewarding for the German driver after he didn’t get to race in Australia due to a technical problem on his car.
“I feel quite well rewarded going home with four points after my first race of the season in a new team and with a new car. I am quite happy with how it went, especially at the start of the race when we were quite quick on the intermediates,” Hulkenberg said.
“But then I was stuck in traffic and couldn’t find my way past other drivers. I think eighth was well deserved, considering I had to fight and push a lot today. I think the potential is there, and now we have to work on a few details.”
Meanwhile, Esteban Gutierrez, one of this year’s F1 rookies, continued his learning experience in a race that he was classified twelfth in by the time the race ended.
“P12 is an ok result, but ideally we would have liked to finish in the points. At the end of the race we lost time because we stayed on the same set of tyres for too long. We tried to change the strategy and I did my best. That was all we could do at that stage. Overall the weekend is a step forward and we need to keep working and put everything together to achieve points,” he said.
Team boss Monisha Kalternborn declared herself happy with the team’s weekend.
“We are happy about this result, because we had an unexpected difficult weekend. However, we were able to improve step by step. We now have a better understanding of those areas in which we have to improve. This will help us to exploit the full potential of the car.”