Sauber Malaysian GP Preview
After a rather difficult opening to the season in Melbourne, the Sauber F1 Team looks forward to the second round of the 2014 FIA Formula One World Championship from 28th to 30th March in Malaysia.
The team used the data collected from Melbourne to improve the performance of the car with the objective to make a step forward at the Sepang International Circuit.
Esteban Gutiérrez (car number 21):
“The Sepang International Circuit is completely different in comparison to the track in Melbourne. It will be interesting to get a feeling for the car with such different track characteristics. It is a smooth track, and less bumpy. It can give us a better feeling when braking, which is where we were struggling quite a lot during the whole weekend in Melbourne. The track has several high speed corners where we will be able to evaluate our downforce and see what the balance of the car is like. Also, the set-up is quite different. It is a fact that we are not happy yet with our performance. We need to put our heads together, be united as a team and make progress in every little detail we can. We have a great team, and I am confident we can improve.”
Adrian Sutil (car number 99):
“Malaysia is one of the hottest races during the season, and, as a result, a challenge because of the high humidity. You have to be well prepared, as, especially at the end of the race, you notice the difference. Everyone should get through the race, but the drivers will be pushed to their limits. The track consists of many fast turns, long straights and a few hairpins, which make it quite an interesting one. I am curious to drive the car on this track where the aerodynamics play a huge role. This is important in order to get to know where we stand. If a car is good in Sepang, then it will be fast on other tracks as well. You need everything here – good aerodynamics, grip in the corners and high speed on the straights. The aerodynamic efficiency of the car is a key. Generally, my hope is that we improve from race to race. In Malaysia, the main objective is to get better and to make a step forward.”
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Head of Track Engineering:
“The Malaysian Grand Prix is a very challenging one. On the technical side, this medium-to-high speed circuit will keep engineers and drivers busy. Furthermore, the ambient conditions demand good physical preparation by the drivers and, to some extent, the pit crew. After the season opener in Melbourne, we are heading to the first race on a permanent circuit. The valuable data gathered over the first race weekend will help us to address a number of performance issues we had. However, for other matters we will need more time and patience. Because of the abrasiveness of the tarmac and the hot temperatures, Pirelli has decided to bring its hard and medium compounds to the venue, which is in line with the last two seasons. Previous races also suggest we should keep the possibility of rain in mind while planning race strategies. Having worked mostly on the set-up, control systems and generally on the software side in order to enhance our braking and mid corner performance, we won’t be racing with visibly different cars at Sepang. Yet, we look forward to improving our competitiveness with the objective to score points.