Pascal Wehrlein admitted to being disappointed with the outcome of qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix as the Sauber F1 Team driver finished down in eighteenth position and ended the session with a spin at turn thirteen that prevented him from improving.
The German racer admitted that the balance of his car has not been to his liking all weekend, and coupled with the power deficit they have here – Sauber are using the 2016-specification Ferrari engine – they are struggling to be competitive.
“I can not be satisfied with this result,” said Wehrlein. “I made a mistake on my last lap in qualifying, which definitely cost time.
“Overall I am having difficulties with the balance of the car. Also, our top speed on the straights is not good enough.
“The tyres behave differently compared to Bahrain, but this is the same for everyone else. Nevertheless, we will do our best for tomorrow’s race.”
Team-mate Marcus Ericsson was nineteenth fastest but felt compromised by a power unit issue that first affected him in final practice and was not completely eradicated before qualifying began, but expects it to be addressed before the race.
Without those issues, and without being compromised by yellow flags on his final run, he felt he could have at least have challenged to get through to the second phase of qualifying, but he does feel the team are moving in the right direction.
“A disappointing result,” admitted Ericsson. “I think we have made some progress today in FP3 and then in qualifying.
“Unfortunately we identified a power unit issue in FP3, and we were not able to fully fix it for qualifying. I am sure we will sort this out for tomorrow. On top of that I got yellow flags on my last lap in Q1.
“We could have been close to Q2 today without having these issues but that’s how racing goes sometimes. However, I am still positive, as we are moving in the right direction.”
Both Sauber’s will move up a spot on the grid thanks to Stoffel Vandoorne’s penalty, meaning they will share the penultimate row of the grid, Wehrlein in seventeenth and Ericsson eighteenth.