Both Sauber drivers experienced a tough qualifying session in Austria and found themselves eliminated after the first part of the session, with Adrian Sutil due to start seventeenth and Esteban Gutierrez eighteenth.
Sutil struggled but felt he got the maximum out of the car at the Red Bull Ring. He is hopeful that the race will be better but accepts the current situation as the team hope to get their first points of the season.
“The qualifying procedure went well and the team sent me out on track at the right time, so that I was not hindered by other drivers,” said Sutil. “The set-up of the car was the best today in comparison to the rest of the weekend. On my fast lap, I was pushing to the limit and managed to get the maximum out of the car.
“Obviously, 17th position is not satisfying, but at the moment we cannot move up, which we have to accept in our current situation. For tomorrow’s race, we hope to achieve more.”
Mexican Gutierrez also endured a tough session, and just about stayed ahead of the Marussia of Jules Bianchi by 0.063s. He was one of a number of drivers to fall foul of the track limits at turn eight, but is looking forward to the race.
“We knew from FP3 that it would be a tough qualifying,” said Gutierrez. “At the moment we are quite limited and the amount of time we are missing is definitely not satisfying. We need to keep on working because other teams are catching up.
“Regarding the track, turn eight is tough in terms of track limits. We did not have the penalty for exceeding the limits on Friday, but today and also for the race we will have it. When you push and get into the corner with a higher speed, it is a risk to go out of the track’s limits. That is another characteristic we need to address. However, I am looking forward for the race as anything can happen.”
Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn feels the track is another difficult one for her Sauber team. She admits the team will struggle for a good result but hopes to see them be ready to pounce on the misfortunes of others after two consecutive races with a large number of retirements.
“The weekend so far showed that this track is a difficult one for us,” said Kaltenborn. “This is also being reflected in the result of qualifying. Under the circumstances, Adrian’s final lap was fine in sectors one and two, but we are surprised that we lost so much time today in sector three. We will do everything possible in the race to keep up with the pace of the cars in front of us in order to be ready in case there are any opportunities.“