Fourth for Nico Hülkenberg in the Korean Grand Prix is the best result of the season for the Sauber F1 Team, and these 12 valuable points have moved the team up a place in the constructors’ championship to seventh.
The German driver showed his fighting spirit and spent most of the race fending off other cars. For Esteban Gutierrez he was just eight tenths away from scoring his first points after his race was compromised on the first lap through no fault of his own.
The team now heads to next weekend’s race in Japan and aims to keep up this momentum.
Nico Hülkenberg: 4th Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056):
- Started on Supersoft tyres, after 10 and 26 laps changed to medium tyres
“Today I drove one of the best races in my career so far. I have had cars in the mirrors before, but today there were a lot and it was a bit annoying. Lewis really put the pressure on at the end, especially in the last sector. I knew I needed to get out of turn one well. The car’s traction was very good today, so that kept [my race] alive against Fernando and then Lewis later on. We were also very fast on the straight. I had a good start, although on the outside into turn one, which was a loss at first, but then I had a real good slip stream and was able to get past on the outside. A big thank you to the entire team for providing such an excellent car today.”
Esteban Gutiérrez: 11th Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056):
- Started on Supersoft tyres, after 8 and 31 laps changed to Medium tyres
“I had a very good start, then I arrived at turn three and saw what was going on. I tried to protect my position, my rears locked and that’s why I lost a couple of positions. To recover from that was quite a challenge. I had some good fights with Massa and Checo coming from the back. Of course, I wanted to score points today, but this is racing. It’s a great experience and will help me to improve my race craft. We had good pace today and are definitely able to fight in the top ten.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “I am very relieved [that] we were able to keep up our level of performance throughout the whole weekend. We went into the race with high expectations and it is a great feeling that we were able to meet these through our own strengths. Nico put in a superb performance and, once again, great fight, as it definitely was not easy to keep those cars behind him. Esteban had a difficult start, so struggled a bit more. However, all in all it is a great step ahead for the entire team and shows we are working well together at home in Hinwil and on the track.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “This is a fantastic result for the team, and we have picked up some very important points in the Constructors’ Championship. Looking at what happened in the race, today was a right front tyre management exercise, knowing where to be quick and where to protect the car, and Nico executed that exactly as we wanted. He withstood some immense pressure from a lot of very good drivers behind him. Esteban had a great start and turn one, but was unlucky into turn three, losing track positions due to other peoples’ mistakes. From that point on he came very close to scoring his first points, so can take a lot of positives from this race. We aim to carry this momentum forward to Suzuka next week. This is proof [that] the hard work being done in Hinwil is delivering on the track.”
Subbed by AJN.