The Italian Grand Prix exposed the Sauber F1 Team’s shortcomings once more as Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez both struggled for pace and straight-line speed at Monza. Sutil could only finish fifteenth while Gutierrez was classified twentieth after an unscheduled pit stop in the closing stages after a clash with the Lotus of Romain Grosjean gave the Sauber driver a puncture and a five second post race penalty for avoidable contact.
Sutil had a relatively quiet race, but felt the car was just too slow to gain any further positions. He hopes Sauber can develop their car so they can finally score their first points of the season sooner rather than later.
“It was not a spectacular race for me,” admitted Sutil. “We were easily able to finish the race with a one stop strategy. Generally we were too slow today, that is why I could not finish better than 15th. The team worked well and we did not make any mistakes.
“We still have to continue working on the car in order to improve our performance. It was not an easy race, but we finished it without any incidents.”
Gutierrez was fighting with Grosjean for sixteenth position with a handful of laps to go but made an error by turning in on the Frenchman while making a pass down the start-finish straight that gave the Mexican the puncture that relegated him to the rear of the field.
“It was a really tough race,” reflected Gutierrez. “From the beginning on I struggled to get the hard tyres to work. We changed the strategy immediately, and I think that was a good decision.
“Back on track I was able to overtake a few cars, but that was it. We lost a lot of time with the incident I had towards the end of the race. Now, I need to look forward and concentrate on the next races.”