6 July 2015
F1 British Grand Prix: Kaltenborn admits 'many things went wrong'
Sauber had another grand prix to forget at Silverstone, with one driver failing to start and the other losing a points finish during a chaotic end to the British Grand Prix.
The 2015 British Grand Prix was not one to remember for the Sauber team, whose lone runner lost out on points right at the end of the race.
Qualifying had already underlined the fact that the Swiss team was not developing at the same rate as others it had battled – and beaten – earlier in the season, but got worse even before the grid had formed up at Silverstone on Sunday afternoon, as rookie Felipe Nasr ground to halt on his out-lap from the pits.
TV pictures showed the forlorn C34 stranded on the entry to Stowe while the rest of the field enjoyed the attention of the assembled guests on the start-finish straight. Although Nasr's mount was eventually returned to its garage, attempts to start it proved futile when the gearbox broke…
“An unlucky day for me,” the Brazilian admitted with a large dose of understatement, “When I went out to the starting grid, I got stuck in sixth gear and, as soon as I returned to the garage, the team detected a mechanical issue with the gearbox.
“It is a shame as, looking at the number of cars that retired, this was a race in which I could have taken advantage of some situations. Now we have to look forward….”
While Nasr looked on, team-mate Marcus Ericsson put in a flawless performance to climb into the top ten - until the weather came into play. The Swede lost a lot of time due to the fact that, having already burned up a set of intermediates, he took on another set of slicks just moments before the heavens opened, allowing Fernando Alonso – himself an early pit visitor to repair a damaged nose on his McLaren – the chance to steal the final point of the afternoon.
“It is disappointing to miss out on points when we had it in the bag for quite a long time,” Ericsson lamented, “The first half of the race was reasonable. I had a good start, gaining some positions on lap one, and my pace was good, so I was able to keep up with our direct competitors. But it was one of those days when it was difficult to make predictions, as it started to rain on some parts of the track and others were still dry.
“It was not an easy situation, either for the drivers or for the team and, unfortunately, we made too many pit-stops today. Now we need to sit down and analyse what we could have done differently.”
Hot on the heels of an Austrian Grand Prix that team principal Monisha Kaltenborn described as 'horrifying', the Silverstone event left an equally sour taste in the mouth.
“It was a very unfortunate race in which many things went wrong,” she admitted, “Felipe was not able to race due to a mechanical issue with the gearbox, while Marcus put in a strong performance until the weather conditions changed.
“Afterwards, it is clear that we changed too early onto intermediate tyres. As the rain that was predicted didn't come as much as it was expected, his intermediate tyres lost grip and, therefore, he lost lap time. Then it seemed that we were able to close the gap in the next two to three laps due to what we expected to be a dry period, and that's why we changed to slicks. If we had waited for one more lap, this wouldn't have happened...”
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