• Jerez Test, Day Three

Gutierrez impressed with C32's increased downforce

ESPN Staff
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Esteban Gutierrez: "he downforce increase was very positive" © Sutton Images
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Esteban Gutierrez believes Sauber has made good progress with the level of downforce on its new car this year.

Gutierrez is stepping up from a test driver to race driver role this season, but drove last year's C31 during free practice in India and at the Abu Dhabi Young Driver Test. Comparing the new car with that experience, he is confident the C32 is a step forward.

"The downforce increase was very positive," he said. "It's an improvement, it's another step and it is something we all feel very happy with. We are trying to develop it even further.

"Generally the feeling is very positive. I can compare the previous car - the one I tested in Abu Dhabi - and the new car, but this is the first time I've developed a Formula One car because always when I test a Formula One car it's at the end of the season.

"It's very positive, the team is very happy with the performance, but of course the first test is about improving the reliability of the car. So far on that side it has been very good and we didn't have any main issues, which is very positive because we can have the time and the laps to experiment with the team. Also, I'm a rookie and I need to have these laps to adapt."

After 110 laps on Thursday Gutierrez said his neck was a bit stiff but that on the whole he was still feeling fresh.

"Thankfully I feel very comfortable," he said. "I did quite a lot of laps and of course the neck is a bit stiff. This is something that I have to keep working on, it's not a big issue but it's a normal, natural step. On the other things I feel very comfortable."