Formula 1 mid-season review: Sauber

Formula 1 mid-season review: Sauber

13 August 2014 – As the Formula 1 fraternity enjoys the summer break, GPUpdate.net takes the opportunity to analyse team and driver performances over the first 11 rounds of the 2014 season. For the penultimate part of the series, we look at Sauber's campaign so far, along with the performances of Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutiérrez.

Sauber: 3/10

Sauber has endured an abysmal season thus far. Having battled to survive through 2013, the announcement of a partnership with a group of Russian companies appeared to point towards a brighter future. But as talks continued over exacting details into 2014, the Crimean crisis broke out, with the subsequent Western sanctions on Russian individuals and companies putting the deal in jeopardy. "The sanctions that have been imposed are really biting some of them, so they're very careful. We simply have to wait. There's nothing we can do about it," said Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn at the Spanish Grand Prix in May. And further doubt has been cast after the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Eastern Ukraine last month. The long-lasting concern has undoubtedly spread onto the circuit in the form of a troublesome C33 chassis. A lack of downforce and an inconsistent feeling with Ferrari's new turbocharged power unit has seen Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutiérrez struggle to remain a part of the midfield action, with Sauber entering the summer break as one of only two teams – alongside Caterham – yet to score a point and behind Marussia in the standings courtesy of Jules Bianchi's efforts in Monaco. Sauber's 2013 season was effectively saved when Pirelli introduced modified tyre compounds at the midway point, allowing Nico Hülkenberg to fight for big rewards and Gutiérrez to record a maiden top 10 finish. But that will not be happening this year. The team simply has to hope that a wild race presents the opportunity to jump to ninth position.

Adrian Sutil: 6/10

After a solid comeback term with long-time employers Force India, Sutil made the switch to Sauber in search of major points, his first visit to the Formula 1 podium and ultimately race victories. But his hopes of doing so in 2014 were dashed as soon as pre-season testing, when it became clear that the team had a below-par contender on its hands. Of the six drivers without a point so far this season, Sutil has been the closest to scoring, finishing 11th in Australia and Hungary. But in between those rounds, he has endured countless technical problems, made sloppy errors and faced unpleasant questions over his Grand Prix future. There was even suggestion that he would be out of a seat from Germany onwards, with Sauber said to have been lining up a driver with better funding – more specifically reserve Giedo van der Garde. Both parties quickly pushed the speculation to one side, but such a curveball was most unwelcome during an already challenging season. With the car underneath him masking potential, all Sutil can do over the second half of the season is put himself in the best possible position to steal potential points and keep his fingers crossed that the overall package he offers is enough to warrant a contract extension. But he will be looking over his shoulders, with the aforementioned van der Garde, Sergey Sirotkin and Simona de Silvestro all vying for seats.

Esteban Gutiérrez: 6/10

Like team-mate Sutil, Gutierrez has been restricted by a poor machine. But after a challenging rookie year, which saw him pick up just six points compared to Hülkenberg's 51, the paddock needed convincing that he was worthy of a place on the grid. When he had the opportunity to turn some heads at the Monaco Grand Prix, having held a points-scoring position into the final 20 laps, he clumsily spun exiting Rascasse. And the "most painful error" of his career grew worse when Bianchi secured Marussia's maiden points. While the majority of his retirements have been brought on by technical problems – the most costly of those striking in Hungary when he had another chance to get on the scoreboard – he did himself no favours by running into Pastor Maldonado at Silverstone, their second clash of the season. With little sign of an upturn in car performance and thus no platform to demonstrate raw pace, Gutierrez's lifeline could be the returning Mexican Grand Prix, with backers Telmex keen to keep its home drivers on the grid.

Do you agree with GPUpdate.net's ratings? Join in the discussion via the Facebook panel below

related

Comments

Latest News
Full
Compact

  1. Sunday 4 December 2016

  2. Alonso samples Honda's RC213V at Motegi 16:14

    Alonso samples Honda's RC213V at Motegi

    McLaren driver Fernando Alonso completed laps on Repsol Honda's title-winning RC213V MotoGP bike during the Japanese…

    F1
  3. F1 urged to end corner-cutting 'subjectivity' 15:03

    F1 urged to end corner-cutting 'subjectivity'

    Formula 1 could end "subjectivity" over corner-cutting if circuits are modified to disadvantage drivers who run off track…

    F1
  4. Manor still has 'big strides' to make - Ryan 14:02

    Manor still has 'big strides' to make - Ryan

    Manor boss Dave Ryan says the outfit's improvement across the past year has been "incredible" but has cautioned that it still…

    F1
  5. Overview: A year with no reigning Champion 13:06

    Overview: A year with no reigning Champion

    For only the sixth time in history, the defending Formula 1 World Champion will not line-up on the grid, with Nico Rosberg…

    F1
  6. Hamilton only wants 'equal rights' in 2017 12:02

    Hamilton only wants 'equal rights' in 2017

    Lewis Hamilton says he is not fussed by who partners him at Mercedes next season, and that his only request is that he has…

    F1
  7. Video: Nico Rosberg title-winning montage 11:01

    Video: Nico Rosberg title-winning montage

    GPUpdate.net looks back at Nico Rosberg's title-winning year with some of Sutton Images' best shots.

    F1
  8. Lauda: Rosberg has left us 'under pressure' 10:30

    Lauda: Rosberg has left us 'under pressure'

    Mercedes non-executive Chairman Niki Lauda says he is disappointed by Nico Rosberg's decision to retire and, with hindsight…

    F1
  9. Zetsche lauds 'perfect' Mercedes hat-trick 09:46

    Zetsche lauds 'perfect' Mercedes hat-trick

    Dieter Zetsche, head of Mercedes' parent company Daimler, has hailed its Formula 1 team after securing the "perfect hat-trick…

    F1
  10. Video of the Day: Lorenzo opens museum 05:26

    Video of the Day: Lorenzo opens museum

    MotoGP star Jorge Lorenzo's opens his new museum, 'World Champions by 99', in Andorra.

    MotoGP
  11. Saturday 3 December 2016

  12. 18:34

    Gallery: Mercedes' Sindelfingen event

    F1
  13. Rosberg would have stayed if he lost title 14:46

    Rosberg would have stayed if he lost title

    World Champion Nico Rosberg says he would have stayed in Formula 1 for another season had he not beaten Mercedes team-mate Lewis…

    F1
  14. F1 paddock pays tribute to retiring Rosberg 13:06

    F1 paddock pays tribute to retiring Rosberg

    Formula 1 drivers, paddock members and the wider motorsport world have been paying tribute to Nico Rosberg, following his shock…

    F1
  15. 11:44

    Gallery: FIA Prize-Giving Gala in Vienna

    F1
  16. Hamilton: Rosberg retirement 'not a surprise' 10:32

    Hamilton: Rosberg retirement 'not a surprise'

    Lewis Hamilton says Nico Rosberg's decision to retire was "not a surprise", despite the newly-crowned World Champion stunning…

    F1
  17. Verstappen receives two FIA Gala awards 09:17

    Verstappen receives two FIA Gala awards

    Red Bull youngster Max Verstappen has been handed two awards at the FIA's Prize-Giving Gala, held at Vienna's Hofburg…

    F1
  18. Video: Rosberg collects Formula 1 trophy 09:13

    Video: Rosberg collects Formula 1 trophy

    The retiring Nico Rosberg receives his World Championship trophy during the FIA's annual Prize-Giving Gala.

    F1
  19. Rosberg crowned World Champion at Gala 09:08

    Rosberg crowned World Champion at Gala

    The retiring Nico Rosberg has been officially crowned as the 2016 Formula 1 World Champion during the FIA's annual Prize-Giving…

    F1
  20. In photos: Rosberg's final F1 race day 08:32

    In photos: Rosberg's final F1 race day

    Nico Rosberg announced on Friday that he will be retiring from Formula 1 as World Champion. GPUpdate.net flicks through…

    F1
  21. Video of the Day: Ferrari's 'Flying Aces' 05:28

    Video of the Day: Ferrari's 'Flying Aces'

    Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen experienced the world's tallest loop rollercoaster at Ferrari World in Abu…

    F1
  22. Friday 2 December 2016

  23. Sato joins Andretti Autosport for 2017 20:05

    Sato joins Andretti Autosport for 2017

    Takuma Sato will make the switch to Andretti Autosport for 2017, completing the team's four-car line-up. Sato, 39, has raced…

    Indy
  24. 18:02

    New: Follow GPUpdate on Instagram!

    F1
  25. Latifi on top as GP2 post-season test ends 17:56

    Latifi on top as GP2 post-season test ends

    DAMS driver Nicholas Latifi set the pace as GP2's end-of-season test reached its conclusion at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit on…

    GP2
  26. Overview: Candidates to replace Rosberg 15:08

    Overview: Candidates to replace Rosberg

    Following the shock news that Nico Rosberg will retire from Formula 1 with immediate effect, GPUpdate.net looks at the potential…

    F1
  27. Video: Rosberg on his decision to retire 14:02

    Video: Rosberg on his decision to retire

    Nico Rosberg explains why he has decided to retire from Formula 1 after winning the world title.

    F1
  28. Mercedes will 'take time' over replacement 13:47

    Mercedes will 'take time' over replacement

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the manufacturer will "take time" in deciding who will replace Nico Rosberg, who has announced his…

    F1
  29. Wolff applauds 'brave' Rosberg decision 13:45

    Wolff applauds 'brave' Rosberg decision

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has applauded Nico Rosberg's "brave decision" to retire from Formula 1 as World Champion, following a…

    F1
  30. Rosberg retires from F1 as champion 13:20

    Rosberg retires from F1 as champion

    Nico Rosberg has announced that he is to retire from Formula 1, just a few days after beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton…

    F1
  31. Video: Nico Rosberg celebrates in Brackley 13:12

    Video: Nico Rosberg celebrates in Brackley

    Nico Rosberg celebrates his maiden Formula 1 title win at Mercedes' headquarters in Brackley.

    F1
  32. Ecclestone confirms French GP reports 11:58

    Ecclestone confirms French GP reports

    Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed recent reports that the French Grand Prix is poised to return to the calendar…

    F1
  33. Magnussen 'learned a lot' over Renault stint 10:32

    Magnussen 'learned a lot' over Renault stint

    Kevin Magnussen says he "learned a lot" from Renault over the course of the 2017 season, as he prepares to embark on the next…

    F1
  34. Rosberg visits Mercedes factory in Brackley 09:21

    Rosberg visits Mercedes factory in Brackley

    Nico Rosberg appeared at Mercedes' headquarters in Brackley on Thursday, as part of a packed celebration schedule after…

    F1
  35. 'French GP to return at Paul Ricard in 2018' 09:05

    'French GP to return at Paul Ricard in 2018'

    France could make a surprise return to the Formula 1 calendar at Paul Ricard from the 2018 campaign, in a five-year agreement…

    F1
  36. Marko: Patience Verstappen's only weakness 07:34

    Marko: Patience Verstappen's only weakness

    Red Bull motorsport consultant Helmut Marko reckons Max Verstappen's only remaining weakness is an occasional lack of patience…

    F1
  37. Video of the Day: Rosberg opens up on 2016 05:38

    Video of the Day: Rosberg opens up on 2016

    Nico Rosberg opens up on a demanding 2016 season, which resulted in his maiden championship win.

    F1
  38. Thursday 1 December 2016

  39. 17:02

    Photos: Rosberg visits Mercedes factory

    F1
  40. Albon fastest on second Yas Marina test day 16:08

    Albon fastest on second Yas Marina test day

    Alexander Albon topped the times for ART Grand Prix on the second day of GP2's end-of-season test at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina…

    GP2
  41. F1 stewards aim for 'better consistency' 15:32

    F1 stewards aim for 'better consistency'

    Formula 1 stewards are looking at holding regular de-brief meetings to review Grands Prix in an attempt to achieve "better…

    F1
  42. ExxonMobil becomes Red Bull fuel partner 14:14

    ExxonMobil becomes Red Bull fuel partner

    Red Bull has announced ExxonMobil as its new fuel, lubricant and motor oil partner for the 2017 season, replacing Total, which…

    F1
  43. Video: Toto Wolff on Mercedes' season 13:16

    Video: Toto Wolff on Mercedes' season

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff discusses the manufacturer's continued Formula 1 success in 2016, the tense showdown between Nico…

    F1
  44. Wolff: Malaysia failure cost Hamilton title 11:12

    Wolff: Malaysia failure cost Hamilton title

    Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has conceded that Lewis Hamilton's engine failure at the Malaysian Grand Prix, while on course for…

    F1
more news