Tag Archives: Gutiérrez

The Steady Swiss – Sauber Ferrari C32

With nothing much but a top end niche motor industry as exemplified by the likes of the enigmatic Monteverdi, and no circuit motor racing since the fatal accident at Le Mans since 1955 Peter Sauber would have been hard pressed to find a less conducive environment in which to found a motor racing team that would build a succession of sportscars that competed first in the Swiss Hill Climb Championships and later with the backing of Mercedes win at Le Mans in 1989 and then the World Sports Car Championship in 1990 beating works teams from Jaguar, Nissan and Toyota.

Gutiérrez, Sauber Ferrari C32, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

In 1993, with a little back door funding from Mercedes Benz, Sauber entered Formula One with a V10 Ilmor motor branded as a Mercedes Benz. This arrangement lasted for two years until Mercedes Benz decided to increase their involvement with McLaren as their partner. Sauber continued with Ford Motors in 1995 and 1996 and after four years has a reputation for being regular points finishers.

Gutiérrez, Sauber Ferrari C32, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Form 1997 to 2005 a Sauber subsidiary built Ferrari motors and gearboxes under licence for his Formula one team, under this arrangement the team finished a best 4th in the championship with Nick Heidfeld and rookie Kimi Räikkönen sharing the driving duties.

Hülkenberg, Sauber Ferrari C32, British Grand Prix P1, Silverstone

In 2006 BMW bought the Sauber team and called the shots until they sold it back to Peter Sauber in 2009 when the economic crisis precipitated by the credit crunch hit Formula One. Under BMW’s stewardship Sauber finished 2nd in the constructors championship in 2007 following McLarens exclusion. The following year they finished 3rd and Robert Kubica scored the team’s only win in Canada, ahead of team mate Nick Heidfeld.

Hülkenberg, Sauber Ferrari C32, British Grand Prix P2, Silverstone

Since 2010 Sauber has returned to running with Ferrari motors, now built in Maranello. Last year Nico Hülkenberg, red helmet, joined the team from Force India and was joined by Mexican rookie Esteban Gutiérrez, yellow helmet, who had been the teams driver since 2011, to drive the Sauber C 32 designed under the direction of Matt Norris.

Hülkenberg, Sauber Ferrari C32, British Grand Prix P2, Silverstone

The highly rated Nico recorded ten points scoring finishes from 18 starts including the teams season high 4th place finish at the Korean Grand Prix. At the following Japanese Grand Prix Esteban came home 7th behind team mate Nico to record his only points finish. Sauber finished the year 7th in the championship.

Gutiérrez, Sauber Ferrari C32, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

For much of 2013 Nico was touted as a possible replacement for Felipe Massa at Ferrari, however as things began to unravel for Kimi Räikkönen at Lotus and Fernando Alonso committed the ultimate crime for any Ferrari driver, to suggest he wanted “another car”, i.e. built by another manufacturer, for his birthday, Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo took exception to the comments and took the opportunity to wake Alonso up by signing up the man whom Alonso had replaced at Ferrari !

A disgruntled Hülkenberg took the only route available to him offering any hope of career advancement and rejoined the Mercedes Benz powered Force India Team. Esteban will be joined in 2014 by Force India refugee Adrian Sutil with a well financed young Russian prodigy Sergey Sirotkin doing the testing duties. The Ferrari powered C33 was launched a couple of days ago on the Sauber teams website and it’s progress can be followed on the team’s Facebook page.

Thanks for joining me on this “Steady Swiss” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a US built Edwardian vehicle. Don’t forget to come back now !


Number 2 Drivers – British Grand Prix

Last Friday I popped along to Silverstone last Friday to see the first two practice sessions for the British Grand Prix. This was my first visit to Silverstone for Formula One action since 1981 when John Watson won the race for McLaren.

Rosberg, Mercedes Benz, F1 W04, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Today’s blog focuses on how the 11 teams number 2 drivers got on, above Nico Rosberg driving his Mercedes F1 W04 finished the opening day of practice at the top of the time sheets. Nico qualified second for the race and won after team mate Lewis Hamilton blew a tyre and then Sebastian Vettel retired with transmission problems. Despite having visiting pit row for the second time this season, twice more than his team mate Nico is still three seven points behind his team mate Lewis Hamilton, who has yet to win and fifty points behind Championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Webber , Red Bull Renault, RB9, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Last years British Grand Prix winner Mark Webber, seen driving his Red Bull Renault RB9 above, similarly set a faster time than his team mate Sebastian Vettel on the opening day of practice. Mark qualified 4th behind his team mate for the race and dropped to 15th after making contact with Romain Grosjean on the opening lap and recovered to finish in second place on his final British Grand Prix appearance. Mark announced at the British Grand Prix that he would be retiring from Formula One at the end of the season and joining Porsche’s Le Mans program for 2014.

Massa , Ferrari, F138, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa is seen driving his F138 in the first practice session he was slowest of the the eleven drivers to set a time in the morning and in the afternoon knocked a wheel of the front when he came off the drying track in the afternoon and again set the slowest time of the 22 drivers in the afternoon. Felipe could only qualify 12th for the race, but despite a high speed blow out did well to recover a sixth place finish by the end of the race.

Sutil , Force India Mercedes, VJM06, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Adrian Sutil driving a Mercedes powered Force India VJM06 set 8th fastest time on day one, qualified 7th for the race and spent a long period running in third place behind Vettel and Rosberg but then got swamped at the end to finish 7th.

Ricciardo, Torro Rosso Ferrari, STR8, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Daniel Ricciardo one of several drivers in the frame to replace the retiring Mark Webber at Red Bull, finished the opening practice session at the top of the time sheets, he qualified his Ferrari powered Torro Rosso STR8 an impressive 6th, seven places ahead of his team mate Jean Eric Vergne. After running in 4th place for much of the race he too was swamped at the end to finish 8th.

Bottas, Williams Renault, FW35, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Williams were celebrating the 600th Grand Pix at Silverstone unfortunately Valtteri Bottas driving his Renault powered FW35 could not repeat his fine Canadian 7th fastest qualifying performance. Starting 16th Valttteri came home 12th in the race.

Gutiérrez, Sauber Ferrari, C32, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Mexico’s Esteban Gutiérrez started the British Grand Prix from 17th place on the grid in his Ferrari powered Sauber C32 and climbed to 14th by the end of the race.

Chilton, Marussia Cosworth, MR02, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Max Chilton in the Cosworth powered Marrusia MR02 was the slowest qualifier but thanks to penalties for Paul di Resta and Giedo van der Garde he started his home Grand Prix from 20th and finished 17th.

van der Garde, Caterham Renault, CT03, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

van der Garde started the British Grand Prix from last place after ignoring blue flags, shown to signal that he was about to be lapped, in Canada and finished the race 18th and last unlapped runner.

Grosjean, Lotus Renault, E21, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Driving his Renault powered Lotus E21 Romain Grosjean started the British Grand Prix from 7th on the grid but was involved in a collision with Mark Webber on the opening lap he finished the race 19th 1 lap down last car still running.

Perez, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-28, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Finally Sergio Pérez suffered a tyre failure during practice on the opening day that would be a portent for 4 similar failures on race day. Starting from 13th on the grid Sergio suffered a second puncture on race day that forced his retirement due to the damage to his Mercedes powered McLaren MP4-28 caused by the flailing remains of the tyre on lap on lap 46.

More on the British Grand Prix at Motorsports Unplugged.

Thanks for joining me on this “Number 2 Drivers” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for an Independence Day edition tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !