The Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang finished early for both Sauber F1 Team drivers, Esteban Gutiérrez and Adrian Sutil. Adrian’s car lost electric power supply and switched off out on the track. A short while afterwards, Esteban’s car suddenly stopped during the pitstop. After the tyre change he was not able to engage first gear and as a result, had to retire from the race. The engineers will analyse both problems in order to solve the issues prior to the Grand Prix of Bahrain taking place next weekend.
Esteban Gutiérrez (car number 21) Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari):
Started on Medium tyres, after 10 laps changed to new Medium tyres and after 23 laps change to Hard tyres.
“After quite a long stint, I made a pitstop and couldn’t engage first gear. I tried it many times, but it didn’t work, so there was not much I could do. In the end we made a step forward this weekend. Obviously it was not a good race, but we have to keep positive. We must solve our issues so that we [can be] consistent and reliable at the track and have no technical problems. We still have a long season ahead and I am confident that we can improve.”
Adrian Sutil (car number 99) Sauber C33-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari):
Started on Medium tyres, after 11 and 24 laps changed to Hard tyres
“In my last lap I lost power and then suddenly the car switched off. I don’t know what happened, so we need to analyse it. It is a shame. Many things don’t work well at the moment, so we need to learn from that. In general, our pace was too slow and the grip level was poor. This was unusual for us and we didn’t expect that. We will keep working on the issues we have and we will be back stronger for the next races. We don’t have much time until Bahrain, so we don’t expect to have many updates there. However, for the upcoming races we have a plan which we are working on in order to improve.”
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: “We saw during the practice sessions that our measures to improve the performance of the car worked well. It proves that we are going in the right direction. It is certain such a race result is very disappointing. However, it will not put us off course from our plan to implement the next steps.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering: “The start of the race was okay, as Adrian was able to gain several positions. We were on a three stop strategy with both cars, because our goal was to keep up with the cars in front of us. Both drivers started on the Medium tyre. Adrian then shifted to the Hard compound at his first stop, because he was not happy with the Medium tyre. Esteban changed to the Hard tyre during his second stop, and then wanted to go back to the Medium for the last stint. But during his pit stop he wasn’t able to engange first gear. Before that Adrian was forced to stop out on the track. His car lost electric power supply and switched off completely. We will investigate both problems in order to solve them before the next race in Bahrain. Overall, our performance in the race wasn’t where we expected it to be, so we have some homework to do.”