Esteban Gutierrez crashed with just a handful of laps remaining and Nico Hulkenberg was also caught up in a clash with the Caterham of Giedo van der Garde. The German suffered a puncture that ended his race.
Speaking in a team statement after retiring from the race, Hulkenberg said: “It’s disappointing to finish a race like this. Lapping can be troublesome, but these guys are racing too and have things happenings in the race, the same as us. I lapped Giedo van der Garde and braked.”
He later admitted that he didn’t actually feel the touch or any effect of the contact until he exited the final chicane: “At first I didn’t feel anything until I came out of the corner and realised the car wasn’t going straight, so we decided to stop. Even after we lost positions at the start of the race, we didn’t really have the pace today. I was fighting for 14th and couldn’t do much more. Of course this is not an ideal way to end a race, but in the end we wouldn’t have gained much more.”
It was a similarly poor showing from Hulkenberg’s team-mate Esteban Gutierrez. Neither Sauber driver was battling close to the points but the Mexican was obviously pushing hard for a better result. He locked up into turn one over one of several large bumps on the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve that then pitched him off and into the barrier.
Reflecting on his sudden exit from the race he said “When I came out from my second pit stop into the first corner, I went over one of the bumps, the front locked up and I couldn’t stop.”
However he was far from pleased with his car’s performance, adding “For the entire race the car was difficult to drive, and I was always pushing to the limit. Right from the start everyone was closing in. The first set of tyres was difficult to drive on and a one stop would have been impossible.”
Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn summed the race up as a “weekend to forget.”
Image courtesy of Sauber F1 Team