4 May 2014
Sutil chasing return to F1 reliability
Adrian Sutil will be looking to overturn a recent run of retirements as Sauber F1 introduces the first major upgrade to its C33 in Spain.
Adrian Sutil has admitted that he needs to put an end to his run of DNFs as Sauber introduces a heavily-revised version of its C33 chassis for the first European F1 race of 2014.
The German heads to Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on the back of three successive retirements, denting hopes of a first points score with Sauber after coming close, in eleventh place, to opening his account on debut in Australia. Let down by his power unit on two of those occasions – his Bahrain exit was due to an accident – Sutil is keen to see an upturn in reliability accompany the extensive work on weight reduction and aerodynamic performance that will be introduced in Spain next weekend.
“We will be travelling to Barcelona with some car updates, which I hope will help us to improve our performance,” he said, “Obviously, I expect more than in the last races - after three retirements in a row, we need to finish this race. I am looking forward, and I think that our performance will be stronger than in the previous races.”
Although there was no pre-season test in Barcelona this season – F1 instead followed the Jerez opener with back-to-back sessions in Bahrain – Sutil is well versed in the nuances of the Circuit de Catalunya.
“All of us drivers know the track in Barcelona quite well, as everyone has tested there very often,” the former Spyker, Midland and Force India driver noted, “The Circuit de Catalunya is a nice track with high aerodynamic demands on the car. There are some fast corners and only one long straight, but the last sector is quite tight, therefore slower and not easy to drive.
“We have to find a compromise in terms of the car's aerodynamic set-up and, with one setting the first and second sectors will be good, but the last sector will be a disadvantage, or vice versa.”
The reduction in the C33's weight should have one major advantage for Sutil, as the German opted to drive without a water bottle in the recent Bahrain Grand Prix, underlining the disadvantages he – and others – feel subjected to under the current regulations. Barcelona should not be as hot as Bahrain, but Sutil was condemned for his decision in round three, although his early retirement ultimately prevented any potential health risk.
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