For the first time in 2014, the Sauber F1 Team managed to break into the final part of qualifying, with Adrian Sutil managing the feat at Austin for the United States Grand Prix. Unfortunately for team-mate Esteban Gutierrez, the second Sauber driver was unable to escape the first part of the session.
Sutil scraped into Q3 by less than a tenth of a second, and will start ninth once Jenson Button’s gearbox penalty is applied. He felt the result was a deserved one, and it was proof that the team remain motivated going forward.
“It was a great qualifying,” insisted Sutil. “In the morning we had a good free practice, and I felt comfortable with the car. The air and track temperatures went up a little in comparison to the morning, but the balance of the car was still good. We put in a great performance today, and we deserved to make it into Q3 for the first time this year.
“The entire team did a great job. I am pleased for everyone within the team as, especially in our current situation, this is an important result which is crucial for the motivation.”
Gutierrez was unable to replicate his team-mates efforts, and was eliminated in Q1 in sixteenth, although he will move up a spot once Daniil Kvyat’s penalty for an engine change is applied. He felt it was a challenging session for him, without finding the best set-up that would have allowed him to qualify higher.
“It was a tough qualifying for me,” reflected the Mexican. “We were trying to find the best compromise with the set-up for the car. However, we have not been able to extract the maximum out of the soft tyres. Adrian did a good job and found a lap time on the soft compound.
“We will now look forward to the race tomorrow, and it will be important to put everything together in order to achieve the best position possible.”