Sauber F1 Team will be hoping to bounce back in Malaysia following a difficult opening race of the year in Australia.
Neither Adrian Sutil or Esteban Gutierrez managed to make it in to the points at the Australian Grand Prix, finishing 11th and 12th respectively, both a lap down.
Despite the Sepang International Circuit being a completely different kettle of fish compared to Albert Park, Sauber will be hoping that data gained in Australia will improve their performance when they start running in Malaysia.
“It will be interesting to get a feeling for the car with such different track characteristics,” explained Gutierrez, who started the Australian GP from down in 20th. “It is a smooth track, and less bumpy. It can give us a better feeling when braking, which is where we were struggling quite a lot during the whole weekend in Melbourne. The track has several high speed corners where we will be able to evaluate our downforce and see what the balance of the car is like.”
Meanwhile, as well as having to contend with set-up conundrums, the team will spend a good portion of the weekend looking to the skies, with weather, heat and humidity likely to play a major part in the outcome of the Grand Prix.
“Malaysia is one of the hottest races during the season, and, as a result, a challenge because of the high humidity,” offered Sutil. “You have to be well prepared, as, especially at the end of the race, you notice the difference. Everyone should get through the race, but the drivers will be pushed to their limits.”
“If a car is good in Sepang, then it will be fast on other tracks as well,” he concluded. “You need everything here – good aerodynamics, grip in the corners and high speed on the straights. The aerodynamic efficiency of the car is a key. Generally, my hope is that we improve from race to race. In Malaysia, the main objective is to get better and to make a step forward.”