Adrian Sutil believes that by the end of the season the new generation Formula 1 cars will be four seconds faster than they were at Jerez, which is around the same speed the normally aspirated V8 powered cars were doing last year at the former grand prix circuit in southern Spain.
Sutil told media at Jerez on the final day, “I expect a gain of at least four seconds by the end of the season. There will be a huge step and then hopefully Formula 1 will be fast enough again. But it is just a question of time. We have seen over many years with new regulations once it gets going the teams pick up seconds every month or every two months and the cars improve.”
Best time set during the first four days of the new V6 turbo in action at Jerez was 1:23.276 by Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren MP4-29, while last years best time of 1:17.879 was set by Felipe Massa in the Ferrari F138. The V8 engine era lasted from 2006 to 2012.
As for the new, very different F1 car, Sutil revealed, “It is not boring to drive. You have got to do a lot of work to keep it on the circuit. It is just very low grip and the car is always moving around.”
Sutil blotted his debut week with his new team by crashing on his first day at the wheel of the Sauber C33, which he attributed to the inability to generate heat into the rear tyres which he is predicting will be a problem this season.
“In cold races for sure – it will be a big problem. We have lost the [exhaust] blowing effect and now we really see how much we relied on that. It had a big effect and now it is gone. Also we now have a single wing in the rear,” explained the German.
“There is so much load missing. The traction has gone down by a big, big step, the car is quite tricky on power and the lack of grip and traction is huge compared to last year,” he added.
The teams return to testing action in Bahrain on 19 to 22 February where Sutil is expecting big changes to the existing cars, “In Bahrain I think we can start to work on the performance of the car. The temperature will be closer to race conditions, and we will have a different package on the car. I’m looking forward to that.” (GP247)