The Malaysian Grand Prix brought the first four points for the Sauber F1 Team in the second race of the new season. At the beginning the track in Sepang was wet, and all the drivers started the race on intermediate tyres. However, after only a few laps they changed to dry tyres. The race was extremely demanding for tyres and, as a result, the specators saw a lot of pit stops. Both Sauber F1 Team drivers changed tyres four times. Nico Hülkenberg finished eighth, Esteban Gutiérrez came in 12th.
Nico Hülkenberg: 8th Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056) Start on intermediate tyres, after 7 and 21 laps change to medium tyres, after 34 and 44 laps change to hard tyres “I feel quite well rewarded going home with four points after my first race of the season in a new team and with a new car. I am quite happy with how it went, especially at the start of the race when we were quite quick on the intermediates. But then I was stuck in traffic and couldn’t find my way past other drivers. I think eighth was well deserved, considering I had to fight and push a lot today. I think the potential is there, and now we have to work on a few details.”
Esteban Gutiérrez: 12th Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056) Start on intermediate tyres, after 7 laps change to hard tyres, after 22 and 36 laps change to medium tyres, after 51 laps change to hard tyres “P12 is an ok result, but Ideally we would have liked to finish in the points. At the end of the race we lost time because we stayed on the same set of tyres for too long. We tried to change the strategy and I did my best. That was all we could do at that stage. Overall the weekend is a step forward and we need to keep working and put everything together to achieve points.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “We are happy about this result, because we had an unexpected difficult weekend. However, we were able to improve step by step. We now have a better understanding of those areas in which we have to improve. This will help us to exploit the full potenial of the car.”
Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering: “Both drivers handled the difficult intermediate condions at the beginning of the race well, and communicated well with the engineers on the pit wall to get the right tyres at the right time. It’s good to get the first points on the board. We’ve got a lot of good data to analyse, which will help us to be even stronger in Shanghai.”