Sauber LogoUnited States Grand Prix – Practice – Friday, 15.11.2013

Weather: fog, then sunny and dry, 15-26°C air, 18-32°C track

Free practise one for the United States Grand Prix began with a rather long delay this morning. First of all because of poor visibility, then because of a technical problem with the medical helicopter. This resulted in the session being reduced to 45 instead of the usual 90 minutes. The afternoon went according to plan, so Esteban Gutiérrez and Nico Hülkenberg were able to work through their respective programmes without any technical difficulties. The performance was good, however, both drivers still see more room for improvement.

Nico Hülkenberg:
Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 03/Ferrari 056)
1st Practice: 9th / 1:39.158 min (17 laps) / 2nd Practice 7th / 1:38.254 min (40 laps)
“It was quite a good day. This morning was a bit of a funny situation with the fog delaying FP1. Once the session started everything went well and we managed to get through the programme we had planned. The car was ok and the performance is looking good too. However, I think there is still room for improvement, but I’m not happy with the balance on the medium tyres yet. It will be tight tomorrow, but I think we can improve.”

Esteban Gutiérrez:
Sauber C32-Ferrari (Chassis 01/Ferrari 056)
1st Practice: 4th / 1:38.532 min (18 laps) / 2nd Practice 6th / 1:38.229 min (40 laps)
“It was a very productive day. Although the delay wasn’t ideal, I feel comfortable with the track and enjoy driving here. This is important. We are in a good shape, but now we need to focus on maintaining it for qualifying tomorrow and the race on Sunday. I think we have very good chances for a good result here. There are two more races to go and my goal is to get the maximum out of what we have.”

Tom McCullough, Head of Track Engineering:
“Overall this was a very positive day for our team. FP1 was cut short due to the fog and helicopter problems, but that was the same for everybody. We prioritised on the long-run, high fuel pace this afternoon in order to understand how the tyres perform on this track, which is much cleaner compared to last year. It was a new track for Esteban, but he got on top of it quickly, doing a solid job today. Our performance on both low and high fuel is reasonable, but there is still more we can get out of the package, so we are working hard to do that tonight.”