Sauber rookie Esteban Gutierrez will be demoted five grid places at the Bahrain Grand Prix next weekend for causing the crash with Force India’s Adrian Sutil.
Gutierrez slammed into the back of Sutil entering Turn 14 on lap five. The Mexican was out there and then, the impact ripping the front-right wheel from the Sauber. He admitted he had misjudged his closing speed on Sutil.
Gutierrez explained afterwards, “At that point in the race when the accident happened, we had a reasonable speed and were able to keep the pace in order to stay with the group in front. Right before going into the long straight I had Checo (Perez) fighting behind me, and I approached the corner too fast. I was braking at the same place where I usually brake, however, didn’t anticipate the loss of downforce and the amount of speed I had.”
“I tried my best to stop, but didn’t succeed. It was definitely my fault, and I apologise to Adrian (Sutil) and to his team. It’s not a good feeling to finish a race like this, but we have something to encourage us to keep going and to keep pushing. We had a good pace, and let’s keep moving forward,” he added.
Sutil limped back to the pits with heavy damage to the rear wing on his car. An exhaust fire erupted when he came to a halt in his pit box. His Chinese GP was over.