The Spanish Grand Prix, the fifth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, kicks off the European season at the Circuit de Catalunya and takes place from the 9th to 11th May. For the first time, after an eight-month break, the Sauber F1 Team trucks are going on a journey for the European season opener in Barcelona. As both C33s will be significantly improved, including an extensive weight reduction and a major aerodynamic update, the Sauber F1 Team drivers, Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil, are positive and looking forward to the race weekend. Test and reserve driver Giedo van der Garde will again be behind the wheel in FP1 on Friday. Esteban Gutierrez will take over the C33 in FP2.
After the Spanish Grand Prix, the second in-season test for the Sauber F1 Team will take place on the 13th and 14th of May at the Circuit de Catalunya. On the first day, Giedo van der Garde will be driving, while Esteban Gutierrez will be in the cockpit during the second test day.
Esteban Gutierrez: "The Spanish Grand Prix is the beginning of the European season, and where updates to the car will be introduced. For us it is an opportunity to improve our level of competitiveness. I have faith in my team, everyone is doing their best. We are positive and expect to make a step forward. Regarding the track, I really enjoy driving on the Circuit de Catalunya. In every category I have raced in, I have always enjoyed the atmosphere there. Last year was very positive for me because I did the fastest lap in the race. I am fully prepared to go for the maximum and to get the most out of the car."
Adrian Sutil: "All of us drivers know the track in Barcelona quite well as everyone has tested there very often. The Circuit de Catalunya is a nice track with high aerodynamic demands on the car. There are some fast corners and only one long straight. The last sector is quite tight, therefore slower and not easy to drive. We have to find a compromise in terms of the car's aerodynamic set-up. With one setting the first and second sectors will be good, but the last sector will be a disadvantage, or vice versa. We will be travelling to Barcelona with some car updates, which I hope will help us to improve our performance. Obviously, I expect more than in the last races. After three retirements in a row, we need to finish this race. I am looking forward, and I think that our performance will be stronger than in the previous races."
Giedo van der Garde: "It is nice to come back to Europe and especially to Barcelona. The Circuit de Catalunya is a track that I like a lot. We will have some updates and our C33 will weigh less, so it will be interesting to see how the car behaves. I am positive, and I am keen to get back behind the wheel. After FP1 on Friday I will have a full day of testing on Tuesday, so I am looking forward to that."
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: "At the Spanish Grand Prix both C33s will have essential revisions, following an extensive weight reduction and a significant aerodynamic update. This update consists of a modified front wing and a new engine cover, new side-pod fins and deflectors, as well as a number of other aerodynamic changes. Besides that, we will also have a software improvement which will enable us to use the potential of the power unit in a better way. We expect a busy Friday at the track while tuning the set-up to the new package. Making the best use of the tyre compounds will also be a challenge, as Pirelli's choice to allocate medium and hard tyres appears to be conservative. We very much look forward to converting everyones' efforts into improved lap times. However, we know that all the other teams are progressing as well, so it will be interesting to see where we stand. We will certainly do our best in order to race for points."