Overall the start of the new Formula One era at the Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park in Melbourne was definitely exciting and ended with a surprising result at the front. The Sauber F1 Team had to be satisfied with 12th for Adrian Sutil and 13th for Esteban Gutierrez. The Team was able to gain a lot of experience during the race, which can now be used to work on improvements and to increase the performance up to the next Grand Prix.
Esteban Gutierrez: "It was a different kind of racing today, but definitely something we take as a reference. In general we are missing speed and it's a challenge to be able to compete at the front like this. As a team, we need to make sure we put everything together because the lack of speed we have on the straight is quite significant. However, we can be very happy that we both finished the race today. This means a step forward for the team and its reliability."
Adrian Sutil: "It was an exciting race, and especially the start, but luckily I went through without any incidents. We had a few issues with the powertrain during the first stint, but after the pit stop that improved. Nevertheless this cost us a lot of time that we couldn't recover. I was on a two stop strategy, but we switched to a one stop because of the safety car. This could have worked well, but the safety car phase didn't help us. In addition we were simply too slow, but we managed to finish the race, which was our goal. We came close to the points, but we need to improve our speed. There is a lot of data now to analyse and we can only improve. I hope that we will progress quickly."
Monisha Kaltenborn, Team Principal: "Overall it was a positive start to the new Formula One Era with a surprising result. We knew that our performance was not where it should be. Therefore we concentrated on finishing the race with both cars and being ready in order to take any opportunity, should there be one. Unfortunately we didn't make it into the points. However, we gained a lot of insight this weekend and we know what we need to work on in order to improve. We now take this experience into the next race weekend."
Giampaolo Dall'Ara, Head of Track Engineering: "Esteban started on the harder tyres, but because of his incident on lap one he had to pit immediately. We took the opportunity to change to the soft tyres and split the remaining race in two sections. He was on the safe side with the fuel and was able to push, but in the end we were not fast enough. Adrian on his side had a problem with one of the electric motors in the first stint and lacked electric power. Finally, we managed to recover and re-activate the system. After the safety car period we reverted his strategy to a one stop race, but this didn't change much. Our main issue today was a lack of pace, and we know that we have to work on this."
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