For Sauber, the Spanish Grand Prix was another disappointing race in a season full of disappointments to date. Five races into the 2014 season and neither Adrian Sutil nor Esteban Gutierrez have scored a point, and at the Circuit de Catalunya neither were close to the top ten; Gutierrez finished 16th and Sutil 17th.
Mexican Gutierrez started fourteenth and made some places up at the start, but found himself being overtaken more often than not, and ended up finishing down in 16th position at the end of the race.
“Obviously, we cannot be happy with this result,” said Gutierrez. “It is not where we want to be. It was a good start, and I managed to gain some positions. After that I just kept dropping back. During the race it was very challenging to keep the tyres alive and to have good speed on the straights. I was trying to defend my position. Nevertheless, we should not lose our motivation. We have the test this week and we need to have the right programme to get things sorted out.”
For Sutil, it was another weekend where he struggled. He failed to escape the first part of qualifying, and did not make any progress during the race. He both started and finished seventeenth.
“The race was not very exciting for me,” said Sutil. “Unfortunately, the performance of my car was not good and I was struggling with the grip. Both stints with the medium tyres were difficult; I think the hard tyres worked better. At the end we were running out of laps. It was a disappointing race for me. We still have a huge problem with the grip level, especially while turning into the corners. We still have to work on this. Now we have to look forward and do better during the upcoming races.”
Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn felt the gap between her team and the main competitors on track had reduced, but there was still a long way to go before the Sauber car becomes developed enough to compete for points.
“This result is obviously not satisfactory,” said Kaltenborn. “We came to Barcelona with a development package, and we can see that the gap to our direct competitors is smaller than before. Now it’s about further optimising this package. There are still a number of points that are not as good as they could be. On top of that, we have to get a more profound understanding of how to best use the tyres.“