Sat: Sauber, Caterham, Marussia


Sauber joined Marussia and Caterham at the bottom of the timesheets in Saturday’s qualifying for the Chinese GP…

Adrian Sutil: “I am satisfied with today’s qualifying. Although the conditions were not easy, I am happy that we got through to Q2. This is a better performance in comparison to the last qualifying sessions. We were able to benefit from the wet conditions and it was better than under the dry ones. This is a small step and I hope we continue with this trend. There is still a lot to do, but it is great that we are not starting from the back rows. We can build on this. We did a lot of set-up changes for the wet conditions and we are satisfied with the performance of the car. Now we hope that we also have a good race tomorrow. If the conditions are dry for the race, I believe it will be difficult for us. However, we have to look forward and try to make up positions.”

Esteban Gutierrez: “Today we had tricky and difficult conditions. At the same time, I am frustrated as I could have made it into Q2.On my last lap I had an unexpected technical issue from Turn 6 on. The brake-by-wire went to the safety mode, so the feeling in the brake pedal and the brake balance changed. I had to deal with this issue through most of my last lap, but, nevertheless, I almost made into Q2. Unfortunately, I then made a mistake in the last corner. For the race tomorrow we have to be consistent and take advantage of every opportunity that comes up. This is the only way to push forward. We are still waiting for the car updates which will be in Barcelona. There we expect to make a step forward.”

Kamui Kobayashi: “As FP3 was wet and the grip levels were low everyone was being cautious but we managed to complete 12 laps, all on the inters apart from the installation. The car was ok, a bit too much oversteer but we did make some gains in braking over the two runs and finished the session without any issues. It was raining before the start of qualifying but the track conditions were right on the edge of choosing between inters and full wets so we went for the inters as that could have given us the best chance of springing a surprise in Q1. It was certainly pretty tricky on inters but the times were just about there with the wets on the first run so we stuck with them for the second run and went out to run to the flag. For the second stint the conditions were improving slightly, but still not enough for us to have a clear advantage on the intermediates, so ending up ahead of Bianchi in 18th and only three tenths from Gutierrez is probably about as good as we could have done today.”

Marcus Ericsson: “FP3 was my second wet session of the season and we started with the installation lap on full wets before switching to inters for the first run. That went ok but when I boxed we found a couple of issues with the power unit and an overheating front right brake that meant we could only complete six laps in the session. Quali was tough, especially considering I only had six laps this morning, but I’m relatively happy with how it ended up, especially as that was only my third ever session in the wet in F1! We went for the same strategy as Kamui and the car was a real handful on the first stint – I had front and rear locking in the braking zones and that was costing me a lot of time, plus I had some traffic issues on the first stint that also cost me time, but overall I’m happy I kept it on the track and finished ahead of Chilton.”

Jules Bianchi: “This morning I was really unhappy with the car but we made some changes in the break and they worked out perfectly for qualifying, even though the track was quite tricky with the rain. I was having a good battle with Kobayashi, trading times in the changing conditions, but on my quick lap I ran wide in the last corner and this meant that he was able to get ahead. However, we were very close, even with my mistake, so it looks like we can enjoy a good race tomorrow in what will be better conditions.”

Max Chilton: “I’m quite frustrated with that qualifying session. The car was really good in FP3 this morning, but I struggled with the balance in qualifying and couldn’t get a clean lap together. The conditions out there were quite difficult but I still felt that there was more to come had I been happier with the balance. Nonetheless, tomorrow is another day so I’ll take my frustration and try to turn that into another good race performance.”

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