Slow Sauber Struggle to Last in Montreal Heat

by Paul Hensby

Sauber continued to struggle in Montreal with neither Adrian Sutil nor Esteban Gutierrez able to collect points despite the high number of retirements, which means the team continue to remain down in tenth place in the constructors’ championship. Unfortunately for Gutierrez, he became the final retirement on lap 64 after a power loss from his Ferrari engine.

Starting from the pit lane after his free practice crash on Saturday, the race was always going to be challenging for Gutierrez. The Mexican was fighting with his team-mate for a lot of the race before being forced to retire with a loss of power.

“It was a very challenging race,” expressed Gutierrez. “Especially in the beginning, I was struggling so much with the tyres. It was hard to manage them and to drive consistently. I fought with some cars, but it was extremely difficult to keep them behind.

“When I pitted, I got a fresh set of soft tyres, which I drove until the end. With this second set of soft tyres, the car felt much better, I even enjoyed driving. But then we lost power, and I had to retire.”

Team-mate Sutil felt thirteenth place was about right for Sauber with the car being so far off the pace at this stage of the season. He was pleased he had a trouble-free race, but was disappointed with being the last classified finisher.

“It was a long race with many incidents,” admitted Sutil. “We were able to keep out of all the trouble from start to finish. Hence, it was a good team performance, which I am very pleased of.

“I am also satisfied with my own performance. However, all this only led to a 13th position, which we have to accept at this point in time. At least we gave everything today.”

Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn was frustrated once again at the cars apparent lack of pace, especially as the longer run pace shown on Friday was faster than what actually materialised on race day.

“No doubt, this was a difficult race,” said Kaltenborn. “The team worked well delivering good pit stops, and we were able to execute the strategy as planned. The tyre wear was as expected, so there was nothing wrong on this side.

“However, we have to analyse the data very carefully to understand why the lap times were slower than we could expect based on the long runs on Friday. We will concentrate on working on the set-up of the car, because there is more potential to be exploited.”

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