The X44 team took a third place finish in today´s Extreme E final in Saudi Arabia; the driving duo of Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez had to battle around the Desert X Prix track with faulty power steering.
The duo finished long way back in the final due to that issue, as Gutierrez crossed the finish-line the clock stopped at 1 minute and 38 seconds behind the second place Andretti United pair of Timmy Hansen and Catie Munnings.
The nine-time FIA World Rally Champion Loeb was disappointed over the results but he is also happy with what the team have achieved over the weekend,. Yesterday the duo managed to slot in to pole position in the qualifying as the Rosberg X Racing pair of Johan Kristoffersson and Molly Taylor received a time penalty.
“It was a good weekend overall, scoring some good points, finishing on the podium in the first event of the season and leaving sitting second in the championship. For sure, we expected to do better in the Final, but entering the first corner, we lost the power steering – and without that, a car this big and heavy is just so difficult to drive and it became a hard battle to keep it on the track.” Loeb said.
“That was a bit disappointing, but for the rest I’m happy with the weekend and the team did a great job. The main thing is that we showed that together, we can fight for the win. Both Cristina and I were very fast, so I think we have a good chance for the rest of the season.”
Cristina Gutierrez: “The whole weekend has been really good”
Gutierrez says she is quite pleased with how the outcome of the weekend has been for her and the team but same as her team-mate, she admits they could have done better if it wasn´t for the power steering failure.
She also explains that her team owner, the seven-time FIA Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton has spoken with her throughout the weekend to give her a lot of advice and tips for the races, with a big name like Hamilton, she hopes his advices will benefit a chance of a win in Senegal next time out in a couple of weeks.
“The whole weekend has been really good, and it all just came down to some bad luck in the Final with the power steering breaking. There was nothing we could do about that, so we have to be pleased to finish third.” Gutierrez, said.
“I’m very happy to be in such a great team. I spoke to Lewis [Hamilton – X44 Founder] during the weekend and he gave me a lot of advice and tips, and now I’m looking forward to going to Senegal to try to win. Extreme E offers such a great opportunity for female drivers to race directly against so many legends of the sport, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”