The German moved from Force India to the Swiss outfit in the hope of moving further up the grid and scoring his first podium finish. However, Sauber has so far struggled for reliability and its 2014 machine has proved to be heavy, slow and difficult to drive.
Sutil and team-mate Esteban Gutierrez both failed to finish the last race in Bahrain, which was the team’s second consecutive double retirement. However, the 31-year-old says progress was made at last week’s in-season test and says updates have been brought to China for this weekend’s race.
“Yes, a little progress has been made at the test with the test drivers in Bahrain, so it was quite conclusive,” he said in the FIA driver press conference on Thursday. “Of course at the moment we are far too slow. Not really enjoyable but we are looking ahead. It will get better. It’s just a question of time, we need to be a bit patient.
“So, for here, there are a few things changed already. So, I’m quite excited to see how the car will be. But our plan, especially for the next races going to Europe and going to Barcelona and on, the car should definitely be a different one to drive.”
Explaining the main weaknesses of the Ferrari-powered C33, he said: “It’s not only one area, quite a few areas of the car. It’s the power unit, it’s the weight – and I’m fighting also personally a little bit here and there. It will get there and as soon as we do progress every race weekend, I’m happy. Fingers crossed it’s going to happen very soon.”
Image courtesy of Sauber F1 Team