The Sauber F1 Team was able to celebrate its best qualifying performance of the year in the Korean Grand Prix. This was the first time in the 2013 season that both Sauber C32-Ferraris had made it through to Q3, with Nico Hülkenberg setting the eight fastest time and Esteban Gutierrez the ninth for his first race at the track. However, they will both move up one place on the grid following another driver’s penalty. The team is now hopeful of consolidating this excellent start to the weekend, and points are its aim for tomorrow’s race.
Nico Hülkenberg Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03 / Ferrari 056):
- Qualifying: 8th in Q3 (1:38.427 / Supersoft tyres)
- 3rd practice: 9th (1:38.961 min / Supersoft tyres / 16 laps)
“Today went really well. Q1 and Q2 were like clockwork and my lap in Q3 was good too, but somehow it was more difficult, I was four tenths down on my Q2 time and the grip was not the same as in the previous session. To start P7 tomorrow is very positive and we can look forward to the race. The car felt good during the long runs yesterday, and I feel confident we are able to hold our position tomorrow. It is so much fun driving here, however, we mustn’t forget the cars in front of us are strong and also we have the McLarens behind us.”
Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 04 / Ferrari 056):
- Qualifying: 9th in Q3 (1:38,725 min / Supersoft tyres)
- 3rd practice: 11th (1:39.128 min / Supersoft tyres / 15 laps)
“The communication was very good today, a big thank you to the entire team. I’ve improved my qualifying and once you have both cars working on a similar level you can push yourself a lot more. This is the first time I have driven here, so it is great to achieve a result like that. It is now the second time in a row I have been able to put in a good qualifying performance and that is a good feeling, because I have worked a lot to improve. The race will be interesting. The track temperature changed in Q3 and I had a bit of an issue with the balance of the car, and the front grip. Tomorrow will be similar to today, so we need to consider that in order to have a consistent race.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “This was our best qualifying result this year, and so we are very happy about that. It confirms our strength and our performance shows we have improved the technical side of the car. I am all the more happy about the fact this time both drivers were able to use the car’s potential. A big thank you to the entire team for all the hard work it has been doing. Now we just need to keep that up and bring home some points tomorrow.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “Making it into FP3 with both cars is a fantastic result for the team, and we can see clearly the car is improving. It was obvious after FP3 it was going to be very tight, but we knew Q3 was possible and great laps by both drivers got us there. In Q3 itself both drivers felt there was a little bit more in the cars, but as we shall be starting seventh and eighth on the grid and the long run pace of the car in P2 was strong, our target for points is realistic and this is what matters as getting into Q3 was part one of our plans. This was a true team effort, as the latest updates we brought here were scheduled for India, but a big push by the production department brought that target forward so we have these final ones for these last six races.”
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