In the first practice session for the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix, for the first time test and reserve driver Giedo van der Garde was behind the wheel of the Sauber C33. Although the car was completely new to him, he felt confident and was able to give the team some valuable information about the set-up of the car. In FP2 it was then Esteban Gutierrez again behind the wheel. For Adrian Sutil the second session ended early due to an empty batterie.
Giedo van der Garde: "The session was not too bad. It's been a while since I was in a car. The last race I did was in Brazil and since then I have not been in a car. I was struggling a bit at the beginning, as the car is completely different to last year. The way of driving, the feeling in the car, the sitting position, the steering wheel are all different. Nevertheless, I improved from lap to lap. With the second set of tyres I was still able to improve a lot. I am quite pleased how the session went, taking into consideration that this is also the first time I have driven the car with the new engine. I am happy so far. I hope we can work with the feedback. It was a nice warm up for next week, when I will have one full day of testing. Today I just did 20 laps. Hopefully during the test we can do more work and improve the car."
Esteban Gutierrez: "Overall the balance of the car is pretty much there where we want it to be, and this is a good sign. The feeling of the car is quite good and I am satisfied with the balance. We still have some work to do with the gear shift. At the moment we are missing quite a lot of straight-line speed on high fuel. However, in the corners the car does not feel too far off. We have to work on the fine-tuning and we need to get a better understanding of the track temperature, as this is very different in comparison to how it was in Melbourne and Sepang. It is a different kind of warming up of the tyres."
Adrian Sutil: "Today in the morning we were able to test different set-ups for the car, and that was ok. The medium and soft tyres are a good choice for this track. The second practice session was interesting because of the lower temperatures, which will probably be similar during qualifying tomorrow. In general, the grip was good. Because of the lower temperatures, the tyres are not over-heating, but the track is a challenge for the rear tyres. However, it is good that we have cooler temperatures, which should also be a benefit for the race. In the evening we could do our short runs with the medium and soft tyres. Later in the second practice session the engine switched off and I had to park the car in Turn 4. Because of this we missed doing the long runs. We tried to head out again, but there was no time left."
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: "In FP1 for the first time we had Giedo van der Garde in the car. He did a very good job, particularly considering he drove the car for the very first time. He gave some valuable feedback for the set-up of the car, which was also good. The session itself went pretty faultlessly, however, with the temperatures much higher than expected in qualifying and during the night race, it was not of much significance. With Esteban in FP2 we tried both compounds first on low and then on high fuel. Adrian was forced to stop out on the track with an empty battery, a problem we know how to solve. We cannot be happy with the performance, so we have quite a lot of work to do."
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