Sauber still struggling despite weight reduction - Sutil
Adrian Sutil says Sauber still has issues with its car despite shedding 10 kilos in chassis weight ahead of the last race in Spain, making 2014 one of the most difficult starts to a season he has experienced in his F1 career.
Sauber brought a significant upgrade to Spain but failed to see the results it had hoped for on track. Sutil explained that even though it had gained roughly 0.4s in lap time from the weight reduction, the car was still tricky to drive in fast corners.
"The updates in Spain didn't really work," he said. "The only thing that really worked was the weight reduction. We could see it in qualifying on a single lap, we were a bit closer to Force India and Toro Rosso, but to recreate it all the time when we need it was a bit difficult and in Barcelona we went a bit wrong with the tyre pressures and it looked bad again. In a single lap we improved, but in the race it is still difficult and the degradation was very high in the tyres because the drivability of the car is quite poor.
"We have a problem, especially in the corner, with the aerodynamics, so whenever there is a corner coming it is not doing the right thing. It is unpredictable at the moment, here [in Monaco] it is a very different circuit, the corners are very slow and it's not all about the aero, and if the car is mechanically set up quite well you can get around here. Let's see, I wouldn't say it's better or worse, I try to deliver and then we talk about the good results."
Sutil said he and the car are still not at the minimum weight limit and there is ongoing work to do on the chassis to bring it down to it.
"It is still a bit too much for my weight situation. We have reduced it quite a lot from Bahrain to Barcelona, we had a good step in weight reduction. I'm still heavier and Esteban is already fine, but I'm still on a diet!
"The lighter the better because then you can place some of the weight where you need it. We are talking about a few more kilos, but I don't want to say a straight number. It's still quite a bit what we have to find and I think the best situation is when you have five to ten kilos to play with and then you can really place it where you need it. Then you are in a good area and therefore we still need to wait a little bit longer and reduce the weight quite a lot."
Sutil said the issues so far this season had made it one of the most difficult of his career so far.
"After the first two tests I thought it was going to be a hard start. You always try to think in a positive way, but I had a few worries before the first race to be honest. We were not ready and the car from the drivability [point of view] was not where it should have been, and we could see it from the first test. Still, it's where we are at the moment and we have to try to improve and make it better, but it was one of the most difficult starts [to a season] and very difficult to get out of it at the moment."