Adrian Sutil describes the Sauber C33 car as a 'diva' as struggles continue
Swiss outfit tenth in table after failing to score a point in 2014
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 17/07/14 5:52pm
Adrian Sutil has described the Sauber C33 as a “little diva” as the team face up to the prospect of their first scoreless season in F1.
The Swiss outfit, renowned and respected for consistently punching above their weight since entering the sport in 1993, are currently rooted to the penultimate place in the Constructors’ Championship and only above Caterham courtesy of results countback.
The lowly residence represents an alarming fall from grace for a team who claimed four podium finishes as recently as the 2012 campaign but are without a top-ten result since last November's Brazilian GP.
In the opening nine races of the current season, the team are yet to finish higher than 11th with both Sutil and team-mate Esteban Gutierrez struggling to master a car which has proved both uncooperative and uncompetitive.
“The window is very small in which the car operates and it’s easy to make a make mistake with this car,” said Sutil, who joined Sauber from Force India over the winter.
“It’s getting better with every race but the car is a little diva. We try to make it easier to drive and the stability is sometimes there. But it’s very difficult to get rid of the problem completely and that is where we are struggling.”
With Marussia a heady ninth in the Constructors’ Championship courtesy of their first-ever points-scoring result in May’s Monaco GP, failure to break their points duck in 2014 could cost Sauber up to $20m in prize money. For a team reputedly short of funds, another financial hit could have dire consequences, but Sutil says Sauber have recently seen glimmers of encouragement in their ongoing attempts to arrest their slump.
“The car is a better car compared to the opening races, but you can’t really see it on the results,” the German added.
“At Silverstone, the car was a bit more competitive and whether in the rain or the dry we were closer to the top ten. That was good, but we are still struggling on the tyres and the hard tyres slowed us down in the race a lot. Of course we want to improve the situation, it’s not where we want to be, but everyone in the factory is trying the maximum to improve it. It’s not an easy situation, but we will get out of it – and hopefully very soon.”
Watch the 2014 German GP live only on Sky Sports F1. Extensive coverage from Hockenheim begins with Friday Practice from 8.45am on July 18.