(Sauber F1 Team)
The Sauber F1 Team head to the Japanese Grand Prix at the Suzuka circuit this weekend aiming to score their first world championship points of the 2014 Formula One season. The Swiss outfit have endured an extremely tough 2014 season so far ad in recent weeks they has been speculation surrounding the team's future in Formula One.
At last season's Japanese Grand Prix the team scored a double point's finish with Nico Hulkenberg finishing the race in 6th place while Esteban Gutierrez finished the race in 7th place having started the race from 14th place on the grid.
This season, sees Adrian Suitl with the team having raced for the Sahara Force India Formula One team.last season
Last time out at the Singapore Grand Prix the team suffered a double retirement with Adrian Sutil suffering a water leak after 40 laps while Esteban Gutierrez suffered an electrical issue 17 laps into the race.
The team will be hoping that this weekend they will be able to close the gap the Toro Rosso and the Lotus F1 Team which will allow them to score their first points of the season. Speaking about this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix Esteban Gutierrez commented by saying:
'The track in Suzuka is one of my favourites. I actually have many tracks that I like a lot, but this one is really unique. The layout of the circuit is very different to other ones, so the set-up of the car is also special.
The track has many fast corners which can be challenging from an aerodynamic point of view, but there are also some medium speed ones. The first sector is simply amazing, it is a sequence of left-right corners, and it is fantastic driving through it. Also the very fast left corner, called 130R, is a very nice one. I have good memories from Suzuka, as last year, I scored my first points in Formula One there.
The fan base in Japan is great, and I am impressed with how enthusiastic and passionate the people are about racing. Once we drivers arrive there, the fans make us feel special, and they appreciate what we are doing. This is a good motivation for us.'
Last season Adrian Sutil finished the race in 14th place for the Sahara Force India Formula One Team one lap down having started the race from 22nd place on the grid. Speaking about the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend the German said:
'The Japanese Grand Prix is a nice event with many great fans at the track. For me it is a very special Grand Prix, as in the past I lived in Japan for a year.
Due to the fact that I won the Japanese Formula 3 Championship in 2006, I have great memories, and it is always a special feeling to come back. The track in Suzuka is with its many fast corners one of my favourites. The first sector especially is tricky, as it has a sequence of left-right-corners which can be driven very fast.
From a technical point of view, this part of the track is quite challenging, so we need to have a stable car with a lot of down-force, and a front that responds quickly while turing in.
The last sector is good for overtaking due to the DRS zone. In general the track is narrower compared to the more modern ones, and the run-off areas have gravel and grass, which does not allow room for mistakes. Moreover, I believe it will be difficult to go flat out through the very fast 130R left corner due to the reduced downforce of this year’s cars. All in all, I would say this track is challenging and fascinating.'
The Sauber F1 Team currently find themselves in 9th place in the Constructors championship, eight points behind the Lotus F1 Team. Speaking about the Suzuka circuit, The Sauber F1 Team's Head of Trackside Engineering Giampaolo Dall'Ara commented:
'The Suzuka circuit is another one of those drivers‘ and engineers‘ favourites, due to the diversification of the challenges faced throughout a lap.
After a flowing and high-speed biased sector one in which the aerodynamic performance dominates, sector two demands stability and traction. Sector three at the end of the lap is dominated by the straight, in which the drivers negotiate the ultra-high speed 130R corner, and the very-low speed chicane.
Due to the abrasiveness of the tarmac and the high lateral energy through the high speed corners, Pirelli has allocated the hard and the medium compounds. In the last few years, the Sauber F1 Team has produced some of its best races at Suzuka. This is a source of pride, and keeps us motivated in working hard for results that so far this season we haven’t been able to achieve.'
© Ben Johnston 2014