- Jerez Test, Day Four
Sauber praises 'excellent' Gutierrez
Sauber praised Esteban Gutierrez's performance in the first test of the new season as "excellent".
Gutierrez completed the second-highest number of laps on Friday - 142, bettered only by Lewis Hamilton - as he set the fourth fastest time of the day in the C32. Having managed to amass over 250 laps across his first two days as a race driver, Gutierrez allowed Sauber to carry plenty of work and head of track engineering Tom McCullough said the team was impressed with his performance.
"Another very productive day with 142 laps for Esteban," McCullough said. "In the morning we concentrated on set-up work and tyre testing, so that was able to become familiar with all compounds. In the afternoon he did long-runs with pit stops so the team could work on procedures, allowing Esteban to have experience of how the tyres degrade during the long runs.
"He did an excellent job during the two days. As a team we can be very happy with the four day test. We had a lot of test items to work on which, with excellent car reliability, we were able to get through. Both drivers are giving very good feedback, and are integrating very well with their engineers. For us as a team it was a very encouraging first test. We have a lot of valid data as a basis to make further progress, and we are all looking forward to the next test in Barcelona."
Gutierrez himself said he had focused on learning how to adapt his driving style and that he goes to the second test as a stronger driver for it.
"It was a very positive day, because we managed to do a lot of laps," Gutierrez said. "We did some new tyre runs at mid-day, and then we did some long runs with high fuel in the afternoon, which gave me the chance to try the car in all different circumstances. It was very interesting for me, because I was able to feel very different things, and I learnt how to adapt my driving style to different situations. It was great to do this at a test, because now I have time to analyse it all and then go to Barcelona on a stronger basis. I'm really happy how things went."