Qualifying for the German Grand Prix showed improvement for the Sauber F1 Team. Nico Hülkenberg was able to make it into Q3 and secured P10, while Esteban Gutiérrez came 14th. Hülkenberg opted not to do a timed lap in Q3 in order to save tyres and be free to choose his strategy for the start of the race tomorrow. The aim tomorrow is to get points.
Nico Hülkenberg: Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056):
- Qualifying: 10th in Q3 (no time / soft tyres)
- 3rd practice: 9th (1:30.966 min / soft tyres / 20 laps)
“To reach Q3 today has been a success for us. I am confident we can achieve a good result tomorrow. Compared to yesterday afternoon, we were able to improve the set-up for free practice this morning. I think we have a package now that allows us to fight for points. The long runs yesterday looked promising and, combined with the strategy which I can choose for the start of the race tomorrow, I am confident we can achieve a good result. I didn’t set a time in Q3, so I am free to choose my tryes for the start of the race tomorrow. I am convinced that will be an advantage. The team told me that P6 was possible today, but today it’s Saturday and the race is what counts, as you only get points tomorrow. The soft tyres are quite challenging to handle here, especially with a full tank. We will start in the top ten tomorrow and our goal is to stay in the points.”
Esteban Gutiérrez: Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056):
- Qualifying: 14th in Q2 (1:31.405 min / soft tyres)
- 3rd practice: 12th (1:31.405 min / soft tyres / 20 laps)
“Today is a step forward for us. We worked with a lot of different set-ups yesterday and were able to make the right conclusions from the data we gathered. I was able to attack and get a lot out of the car in qualifying. However, I still have to improve. Nico did a fantastic lap and it’s challenging, but I will keep working to improve my performance level, especially in qualifying. P14 is, along with Malaysia, the highest place I have achieved so far. For tomorrow we have to put a good strategy together in order to improve from there.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal:
“We are happy with the result today. You can clearly see [that] the car has improved. We could have achieved even more, but we decided to fully focus on the race tomorrow, also because our long runs yesterday looked promising.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering:
“Both drivers were happy with the overnight changes we made to the car, and we felt more competitive going into qualifying. Our aim coming here was to qualify better than in recent GP‘s, making it easier to score points, and we have achieved that today. The forecast is for continued high temperatures tomorrow, so we will factor that into our strategy. Our long-run pace was strong in FP2, and we aim to score points with the strategy we have chosen for tomorrow.” (Sauber)
Subbed by AJN.