Another Disappointing Day at the Office for Sauber

Both Sauber drivers ended their British Grand Prix qualifying sessions early having spun off the Silverstone track in the tricky damp conditions. Adrian Sutil made a mistake towards the end of the first part qualifying having already made it through to the second part, while team-mate Esteban Gutierrez took a trip into the barriers towards the end of the second part of qualifying.

Sutil had managed to set the ninth best time of Q1 before his mistake where he got beached in a gravel trap, a mistake he admitted was all his fault.

“Unfortunately, I made a mistake today,” said Sutil. “As I went off the track, I did not notice that the preceded corner was very wet. I lost the rear of the car and got stuck in the gravel trap. It is a shame as I was in ninth and therefore had made it into the second qualifying session, but could not participate. The conditions were tricky for all of us. As the car was difficult to drive and as we were on the limit, those mistakes can easily happen.”

Team-mate Gutierrez set the fourteenth fastest time in qualifying, but will start nineteenth once his penalty carried over from Austria is applied. He was disappointed to spin out of the session, and was hoping to qualify a little higher in the changeable conditions at Silverstone.

“We had a very good strategy,” said Gutierrez. “I think the conditions were pretty difficult as the weather was very inconsistent all the time. On my last lap I got caught up by a faster car behind. I was trying to push as much as I could. Unfortunately, I lost the car and hit the wall. We were both on our fast lap and I was trying to finish mine as well as possible.”

Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn praised the engineers for making the correct decisions when it came to tyre choice during the session, but was disappointed to see both drivers end their sessions prematurely with incidents. She is determined to turn around the team’s season, so this missed opportunity to qualify higher up the grid was a blow.

“The team worked well, and the engineers made the right decisions,” said Kaltenborn. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to benefit from that. It’s a pity that one car went off after a good lap, got stuck in the gravel trap and consequently was out of qualifying. The other driver lost control of his car and hit the guardrail. So we lost the chance for a good qualifying result. In situations like this one we have to improve significantly.”