Nico Hulkenberg has explained how his Sauber C32 felt almost undriveable during practice ahead of this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix, after both he and team-mate Esteban Gutierrez suffered greatly in the opening two practice sessions. Despite several setup changes, Nico Hulkenberg was still greatly unhappy with the handling of his car.
Due to the inclement weather conditions in the opening practice session, Sauber were unable to complete their testing programme in preparation for the weekend ahead. Nico Hulkenberg in particular was extremely dissatisfied with the handling of his car, which he later described as “undriveable” before a setup error was discovered on his car. Although his Sauber mechanics managed to correct the issue, the German driver was still greatly unhappy with the setup of his Ferrari-powered C32 machine.
“It was a difficult Friday.” Explained a disconsolate Nico Hulkenberg, “The rain this morning didn’t allow us to run through our programme as planned. It’s extremely difficult to test new parts, especially the new tyre compound, in these conditions. Despite the rain that was forecast, FP2 was dry. The afternoon, however, was also difficult. The car felt undriveable and mid-session we found a set-up error. But even after we corrected that, we still had difficulties. I am not happy with the current set-up, we have to improve that and have quite a bit of work to do before tomorrow.”
Esteban Gutierrez was equally unhappy with the performance of the team during the opening two practice sessions, with the Mexican rookie explaining how the team is clearly not where it wants to be heading into the race weekend. The 21-year-old has never before driven around Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, however he has already enthused his appreciation of the circuit. With the forecast still unsettled for the remainder of the weekend, Esteban Gutierrez firmly believes the outfit is more competitive in the wet.
“All in all we tested a lot of different set-ups today so we could find the right balance.” Said Esteban Gutierrez, “But it’s quite evident we need to find a lot more speed. We are definitely not where we want to be and we need to work as a team to improve and have a better overall speed. The track is really fun to dive on in a Formula One car – I like it a lot. The change of weather conditions has actually been good. It was important to gain experience on the intermediate tyres. The forecast is still unsettled, and I think we are more competitive in the wet.”
This time last season the Hinwil-based outfit sat 7th in the Constructors’ Championship with 41 points scored, after a mesmerizing podium finish from Sergio Perez at the Malaysian Grand Prix. So far this season Sauber has only managed to score a lowly five points in the Championship, after enduring a rather uncompetitive start to the new season. Esteban Gutierrez is still searching for his first points of his career, and with Sauber clearly still struggling, rain would certainly be appreciated for the remainder of the weekend.
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