Esteban Gutierrez says he will leave his reliability problems to the Haas team and focus on his role after further issues interrupted his preparations for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.
The Mexican ran the Pirelli supersoft tyres throughout FP1, setting his fastest times during his second stints to go twelfth overall. However, an electrical issue brought a premature end to his session after 25 laps and he was forced to park his VF-16 at Portier with just under 30 minutes remaining.
“I was struggling a bit in the morning with some confidence and, obviously, after not racing here for two years, it was important for me to get as many laps as possible,” he noted, “However, first practice got cut short, which was not ideal.
“It's not my responsibility [to worry about the gremlins], so I put it out of my way and focused on enjoying [myself] on the track. This is what I do and it's what I love doing so I focus on the positives.”
Able to return to the track for the second 90-minute session after lunch, Gutiérrez ran exclusively on the new Pirelli ultrasofts, clicking off 40 trouble-free laps to bounce back from the morning's problems. This time, he set a quickest lap of 1min 16.782secs on his third run of the session to place 13th overall before concluding his day with a 15-lap stint to further evaluate the new ultrasoft tyre.
“The team recovered and managed to fix the problem for practice two, so that was much better,” he reported, “I was trying to be consistent but, on the second set, I was not able to get the most of the tyres because we had the virtual safety car and had to come in again and lost too much temperature on the tyres, which was not really great.”
The longer run on the new ultrasoft gave Gutierrez a chance to compare them to the more familiar supersoft which, along with the standard soft compound, form the options this weekend.
“They are quite good,” the youngster said of the purple-hued ultrasoft, “I mean you obviously get extra grip from the compound being softer and the working range is a bit lower, but not much, so overall you get a bit of surface overheating which starts to put limitations on the race, the race simulation, and I think that's going to be the point to really look after because the wear is not really an issue.
“[For qualifying], it's not a build-up, it's finding the sweet point. Always the tyres have this point where you put it on and then it's there. That's where we really need to find consistency in ourselves because, the more we understand our car, the more we understand our situation, the more experience we give to the team.
“These things will be much easier to give us more confidence to the next step of positions. Probably Monaco wouldn't be a straightforward test for that but, in the following races, we need to be consistent on putting the tyres on the right point on the first lap and really extracting the most from them.”