HUNGARORING, July 24, 2014 (F1plus/Graham Keilloh).- The infamous mid-season change of Charlie Whiting’s opinion that led to all teams removing their FRIC suspension systems for the German Grand Prix perhaps didn’t have as much impact of the competitive order as some anticipated. But the Sauber team does appear to have been one beneficiary.
This is the view of both of its drivers ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix. “Changes which quite a few teams have made in Hockenheim favoured us” said Adrian Sutil today; “probably they lost more compared to what we lost”.
Sutil confirmed too that the evident improvement at Hockenheim was likely entirely down to the FRIC removal. “Yes” he said upon being asked if it was down to FRIC; “we didn’t change anything else”.
His team mate Esteban Gutierrez agreed. “Yes it is the feeling (that the FRIC removal has helped them), and we’re glad to get that opportunity to take advantage of this position, maybe it was more of a big thing, but it gives us about two tenths a lap, which may benefit a lot in the race.”
The Mexican also felt the team more generally is making progress. “The team is pushing really hard, we are bringing updates to this race…it seems that step-by-step every race we are closing a little bit the gap, and that is putting a lot of hope and also motivation into everyone in the team.”
Sutil was relieved too at the Hockenheim improvement. “It was much more encouraging, we were much closer, and finally we could fight again against better teams. And if you look at it optimistically there was a little chance for a point…we were just able to race, we raced with Raikkonen in the Ferrari, we raced with Toro Rosso and Force India. It was much better, and the whole weekend in general we were much closer to the top ten.
Both of the drivers agreed also that with this the team can look ahead to the latter half of the 2014 season with optimism. “I expect a better final half of the season” said Sutil, while Gutierrez said on the team’s expectations “We put them really high! Finishing a season on a high is really important, and there’s a good chance”.
Sutil didn’t feel either that the improved showing last time out in Germany was not peculiar to that track. “Hockenheim is not a circuit that’s particularly good for us, I think this one (Hungaroring) is a little bit better.”