Sauber joined Marussia and Caterham at the bottom of the timesheets in Friday's practice for the Chinese GP...
Esteban Gutierrez: "The clutch problem was not an ideal start to FP1, but the team did a great job fixing the issue quickly. I was able to get out on the track in the middle of the session, which was quite important. Unfortunately, we had another unexpected problem with the ERS. We did not have the full power and this issue effected the lap times enormously. However, we kept running to get a better feeling for the balance of the car. In the afternoon we were able to do the long runs. Obviously, we are not where we want to be at the moment. We will keep pushing to get things sorted out and try to make another step tomorrow."
Adrian Sutil: "I only ran in the second practice session. At the beginning it took a while to get going. The driveability of the car is still not easy. I am struggling with the tyres to get them to work. There is still a lot of work ahead of us. In comparison to Bahrain, I think we had more straight line top speed, which brings us closer to the teams in front of us. The mid-field is quite tight together. In terms of lap times, we are closer to our direct competitors, but we are obviously not there where we want to be."
Jules Bianchi: "I keep saying that my objective is to have some better luck, but this morning I had barely completed my installation lap when we experienced a fuel system problem on my side and I had to sit out much of the session. The team worked really well to get me some track time at the end of the morning and to ensure that we were on top of the problem for the afternoon. I completed 7 laps in FP1, which were still quite important and I was pleased with the balance of the car at this stage. The afternoon session was better for me and I'm pleased that I ended up ahead of my nearest competitors. We still need to work on the performance of the car here but with all the information we have I'm sure we can make good progress overnight."
Max Chilton: "The conditions we are experiencing here are very different to Bahrain, so while we completed a lot of the preparation work for this race in Bahrain, we have needed to make adjustments to suit the specific nature of this track. We've made some good progress but our efforts have been hampered a little by some problems with the DRS, and this has prevented us from getting a good rhythm. Generally though, I'm quite happy with the way the race runs went and I'm feeling positive for the weekend ahead."
Kamui Kobayashi: "FP1 started with the coldest track temperatures we've had this year so we had to work a lot on bringing the tyres up to the right operating temperatures. The car balance felt fine but we were having some issues with front locking and on the third run I had a flat spot on the front left that was right down to the carcass so, after speaking with Pirelli, we decided to end the session after 16 laps as it wouldn't have been safe to run again on that set. Over lunch we made a couple of changes to the car but in the first FP2 run it was a lot more snappy than it had been in the morning session so we made some more mechanical changes for the second run and there was an improvement, still a bit too much oversteer but definitely a step in the right direction. We followed our usual Friday plan and went onto the option tyres before finishing with the long runs, but I didn't have a clean performance run due to a couple of issues in the cockpit so we'll fix those for tomorrow. The final long run was ok - the deg levels on both compounds look reasonable and we have a lot of data to work through tonight before making more progress tomorrow."
Marcus Ericsson: "22 laps in FP1 was a solid start to the weekend and meant we got through most of the planned program. Traction was the main issue for me throughout most of the session - with the cold track temperatures and hard tyres we used in FP1 there was very low grip out there and that meant I had to be especially careful in the braking zones, not being able to attack them as I'd like, but as the weekend progresses and the track rubbers in more that'll obviously improve. At the start of FP2 the car was oversteering too much, especially in the high speed corners, so we introduced a bit more understeer to help counteract that and it worked well on run two which we used to do some aero evaluation. Before going back onto the mediums for the last half hour, to do the long run, we tried the softs for the first time on the performance run but I didn't have a clear lap and my final quickest time was nowhere near what the car is capable of. We have a couple of new procedures here which didn't really work so we'll change them for tomorrow and I'm sure there's a considerable amount of time to come in both FP3 and quali."
Friday's Gallery From Shanghai
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