It was a night of contrasting fortunes in the Sauber F1 Team garage after qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix after Esteban Gutiérrez qualified 14th-fastest, while teammate Adrian Sutil struggled and could only manage 17th.
For Gutiérrez, the result followed that of a top-ten result in the timesheets in Saturday’s earlier one-hour practice session, which boded well for a solid midfield qualifying performance on the floodlit circuit. It proved to be the case as he comfortably eased into Q2 thanks to a SuperSoft tyre run and posted a quickest lap of 1:47.333 to secure a spot on the seventh row of the grid.
““I am pleased with the outcome of today. In qualifying we were able to extract more than we expected,” the Mexican youngster said. “We made the best out of what we currently have. Tomorrow it will not be an easy race, but at the same time we will keep fighting to extract the maximum out of the car. We will keep working hard and focusing on the race.”
Teammate Adrian Sutil was expressing almost completely the opposite sentiments after being outgunned by his teammate for the seventh time this season. The German suffered from persistent issues with his Ferrari power unit that left him well down on top-end speed, as was evidenced by him being among the slowest drivers through the speed trap, just ahead of the two Marussias.
“It is a pity that qualifying was not as good as we expected,” he rued.
“But on the other hand, we have had issues with the power unit and the energy management since yesterday. Because of this, we were not able to extract full power during qualifying, which cost me a lot of time on the straights. More than Q1 was unfortunately not possible under these circumstances. We have to get together and find a solution for the race tomorrow.”
Image via XPB Images