The Sauber F1 Team had many reasons to celebrate after the Japanese Grand Prix. It had its first double points score of the year with Sauber F1 Team driver Nico Hülkenberg finishing sixth and Esteban Gutiérrez seventh.
For Esteban these were his first and very well deserved World Championship points. In total the team scored 14 points to consolidate its seventh position in the Constructors’ points table. On top of all of this it is Peter Sauber’s 70th birthday.
Nico Hülkenberg: 6th Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056):
- Started on Medium tyres, after 10 and 29 laps changed to Hard tyres
“I think, we did everything we could today. I was already surprised by the pace of the car going to the grid as it felt really good. Again I managed to keep both Ferraris behind me for a long time, even if it wasn’t enough as my tryes just gave up a little bit at the end of the race. We were fighting throughout the race today. Just after my second pit stop I was surprised I was able to pull away a bit from Fernando (Alonso), but he was probably saving his tyres. It was a great team result with P6 and P7, and hopefully a nice present for Peter Sauber. I’m fairly confident we can fight for points again in India.”
Esteban Gutiérrez: 7th Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 04/Ferrari 056):
- Started on Medium tyres, after 9 and 30 laps changed to Hard tyres
“Finally I can feel great satisfaction after the race. It has been a lot of work to get up to this point and, while it has not been an easy path, I think it has been a very solid one. Over the past few races we have been improving a lot and, as I said yesterday, we have to keep optimistic and this is the result of that. Knowing we can achieve something like this, you really go forward and do your best and push. Even though the last few laps were very difficult with Nico Rosberg behind me, it was overall a great race. I want to thank the team as is has done a great job today. Also many happy returns to Peter Sauber on his 70th birthday.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “This is a fantastic result for us, especially on Peter’s birthday. We hope he is happy with this. Both drivers, once again, put up a fantastic fight. It is further proof we are going in the right direction and gives us a lot of confidence for the remaining races, as there is a lot we can still fight for. Hats off to both drivers and to the team that did a great job both at home and here. On behalf of the whole team I would like to wish Peter Sauber a happy 70th birthday. Over the past 43 years motorsport has shaped his life. He established the Sauber F1 Team in Formula One as well as the Sauber brand in motorsport. Sauber is now the fourth oldest name in Formula One. Peter was able to achieve all of that from Switzerland, which four decades ago no one believed was possible. He founded a motorsport team, brought it to the highest level of motorsport and was able to compete continuously in Formula 1 for over 20 years. Sauber Motorsport today is a technology centre of the highest standard. Peter Sauber always focused on the interests of the team. For that he deserves the utmost gratitude and respect.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “This is our first double points score of the year and a fantastic result for the team. Some good strategy work saw us punching a little bit above our weight for most of the race. Esteban made a great start and had a fantastic first lap and it is really good for him to score his first points today. This has been coming for a while, we never doubted he would make it, and this is a well deserved seventh place. For Nico it was also a good race and he worked hard for his sixth. I hope the boss enjoyed this on his 70th birthday today.”