• First Barcelona Test, Day One

Gutierrez thanks team for help

ESPN Staff
February 19, 2013 « Live Barcelona testing | Ricciardo pleased with aero baseline »
Esteban Gutierrez ended day one at Barcelona in ninth place © Sutton Images

Esteban Gutierrez has thanked Sauber for helping him to get to grips with driving a Formula One car as quickly as possible.

Having only taken part in one Friday practice session last year, Tuesday was Gutierrez's third day of pre-season testing in the car he will race in 2013. With new procedures and systems to learn, Gutierrez admitted he was still getting comfortable with some of the more repetitive parts of testing and that the team was aiding his progress.

"I have to say the team is helping me a lot to adapt as quickly as possible," Gutierrez said. "They are supporting me on that side very well, they are letting me do a lot of pit-stops, launches and race starts as well. In Jerez I did a lot of laps when I could experiment a lot, here we have been doing a lot of set-up changes.

"They are also training me, for example we are training to do different changes on the steering wheel with a bit of pressure and all these things are part of an exercise for myself so it's something I feel very grateful for right now and we also try to adapt that to the real programme. I also need to give my feedback and I'm doing my best on every aspect."

Having completed 66 laps on the opening day at the Circuit de Catalunya, Gutierrez said it was clear that mastering the Pirelli tyres was going to be a major challenge.

"It's really, really bad degradation; it's quite high. It doesn't mean it's bad because it's just a characteristic. It's something that's there, it's a reality, so I think as drivers we would like to do as many laps as possible and be consistent but right now the situation is not like that. You basically have one or two laps and then the tyres are dropping quite high and this is something that is a problem to experiment and to make different set-up changes and have a real feedback."

Despite the difficulty with the tyres, Gutierrez said the team had managed to resolve some set-up problems it had encountered.

"Generally the focus today was of course to get to know the tyres on a different track which is what I think everyone was interested in because we know that Jerez is very different. As well we focused on doing different measurements in the morning - we did a lot of out-laps - and then in the afternoon we switched to doing different set-up changes in order to get a feeling and reaction from the car and we solved some issues we had set-up wise."