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Belgian Grand Prix: Gutierrez eyes top ten as Sauber soldiers on to Spa

Esteban Gutierrez hopes that Sauber can overcome its off-track issues to help him record a first f1 point at the Belgian Grand Prix.
F1 rookie Esteban Gutierrez reckons that his Sauber could be good for a top ten finish at the Belgian Grand Prix, despite a rocky summer for the Swiss team.

The Mexican, still without a point ten races into his debut season, has been mercurial to say the least since graduating from GP2 last winter, but was hampered in his pursuit of points last time out after mechanical gremlins blighted his third and final practice session at the Hungaroring.

Despite that, and the fact that Sauber's future remains uncertain while details of its partnership with a group of Russian organisations is sorted out, Gutierrez is in bullish mood heading to one of the most popular stops on the schedule.

“Belgium will be an interesting race with everything we have done to the car during the past few GPs,” he insisted, “Obviously, qualifying in Hungary was not good, because of the time we lost in FP3, but I think we can manage to get into the position we were expecting, which is around P10 in Spa-Francorchamps.

“It is one of the tracks that I enjoy driving the most, because it has a lot of quick corners and it just flows. You can feel the limits of the car at really high speeds. One lap is quite long and, sometimes, you even face varying weather conditions in different parts of the track - on one side it might be raining, while the other side might be dry. This makes it very challenging and interesting.

“In terms of the set-up, we will have to be clever about which downforce levels we want to race, because you have very long straights and, at the same time, you have high-speed corners, where you need the downforce. As a racing driver, however, it is impossible not to enjoy the track, because it has fast corners, you are going uphill, downhill and I am really looking forward to it.”

Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg, whose own future may come into clearer focus should Daniel Ricciardo be confirmed at Red Bull over the weekend, is also an unabashed fan of the Spa layout, particularly as it delivered his best finish in F1, while a member of the Force India squad in 2012.

“I am probably not the only driver to say Spa-Francorchamps is one of my favourite circuits,” the German noted, “It's a track with a lot of history, an old school circuit with great corners like Eau Rouge and Pouhon. I have great memories from last year, as it was my strongest career finish so far, finishing fourth, which was really good.

“In terms of the car, it's important to have a really efficient one. There are a lot of medium and high-speed corners, where you need the downforce, especially in sector two, but you also need to lose the drag on the straight, because there are long [runs], especially out of turn one through Eau Rouge, which is flat, and then again coming back to the start and finish line.”





Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
28.07.2013- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
27.07.2013- Qualifying, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber F1 Team C32
01.09.2012- Free Practice 3, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
27.07.2013- Qualifying, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
28.07.2013- Race, grid: Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
26.07.2013- Free practice 2, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX), Sauber F1 Team C32
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Infiniti Red Bull Racing RB10
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams F1 Team FW36
20.04.2014- Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05 in parc fermee
20.04.2014- The podium, winner Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 2nd Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05, 3rd Fernando Alonso (ESP) Scuderia Ferrari F14T
20.04.2014- Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33 during pit stop
20.04.2014- Race, Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India VJM07
20.04.2014- Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33
20.04.2014- Race, Esteban Gutierrez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C33

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