(©Ben Johnston 2014)
The Sauber F1 Team head to Monte Carlo next weekend hoping to kick start their 2014 season with a points scoring finish following an extremely difficult start to the 2014 campaign for the Swiss based outfit who are yet to score points this season.
In Spain last weekend, Esteban Gutierrez finished the race in 16th place while Adrian Sutil came home in 17th place respectively. Both drivers finished the race one lap down on the leaders Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Adrian Sutil has finished two of the opening five Grand Prix. he finished the season opening Australian Grand Prix in eleventh place. The German then had a string of retirements in Malaysia, Bahrain and China before he finished the Spanish Grand Prix.
Sutil did not take part in the two day test at the Barcelona Circuit de Catalunya earlier this week but is hopeful that he can pick up some points in Monaco next week. Speaking to the official Sauber F1 Team website the German said:
'The Monaco Grand Prix is a very nice event every year. I really like the track. For us, the most important aspect will be that our car works well and we can achieve a good performance. My objective is to travel back home with some points in my pocket. Looking back, I have good memories from the races in Monte Carlo as I collected some points almost every year. Last year it was an exciting race for me which I finished in fifth position. It is always a special Grand Prix, and I am looking forward to it.”
Esteban Gutierrez heads to the Monaco Grand Prix having retired from two Grand Prix in Malaysia and Bahrain. In Monaco last season, Nico Hulkenberg just missed on a points finish for Sauber as he finished in eleventh place while Gutierrez finished the race in 13th place. Ahead of the race next weekend Gutierrez spoke to the official Sauber F1 Team website and said:
'The street circuit in Monaco is a very special track and one of my favorites on the calendar. As the track has many slow speed corners, we need to have a stable car. Our focus will be to get things sorted out and to make sure we are on target. What I like the most in Monte Carlo is driving on the narrow track between the guardrails. It is very challenging as you don’t have a lot of space, and for a perfect lap you get very close to the barriers. The closer you get, the more you are pushing to the limit, so using every centimetre of the track. It is very exciting and racing on the streets of Monte Carlo is always a different kind of feeling.'
The Sauber F1 Team's Head of Track side operations Giampaolo Dall'Ara said:
'The race in Monaco has a unique character and it’s a real challenge for drivers and engineers. Our main focus for lap times will be on mechanical grip and rear end stability. The power unit has a lesser relevance than in most of the other circuits, however, good torque progression and general driveability will make a difference. We are confident of having made a further step forward at the test in Barcelona, so we will be introducing some updates to the aerodynamic package and the rear suspension. In line with what has happened in the past, Pirelli has allocated the Soft and SuperSoft compounds to the event. In the last couple of years we’ve been witnessing some strong pace management in the race in order to minimise the number of pit stops, possibly bringing it down to a single one. The lack of overtaking opportunities around the circuit make a good qualifying very relevant.”
The Sauber F1 Team are just one of three teams yet to score points so far this season with the others being the Marussia and the Caterham F1 Team's.
©Ben Johnston 2014