Sauber’s Esteban Gutierrez believes that tire management will be key at next weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix as he looks to pick up his first points in Formula One.
Gutierrez has recorded a best result of 12th so far this season, but a difficult Bahrain Grand Prix weekend saw him finish behind Caterham’s Charles Pic. However, he is sure of a good result relying the Sauber C32 is easy on its tires.
“As the first of a series of European races, I think it is going to be an exciting event and I’m looking forward to that,” Gutierrez said in a team statement.
“The track is quite demanding, especially the last sector. Tire management will be crucial here, and, especially during a qualifying lap, you need to nurse your tires in the first two sectors in order to get a clean third sector. You must make sure the tires still have good grip when you approach the final corners of the lap, including the chicane.”
The Circuit de Catalunya is a track that Gutierrez knows well after two of the winter tests were held there, and he will be hoping to put this experience to good use.
“The first time I raced in Barcelona was in 2008. I know the track and during the winter tests I was also able to experience driving a F1 car there.”
Gutierrez’s F1 baptism has been rather disappointing, failing to match the form of teammate Nico Hulkenberg. Although the C32 car has its problems, the Mexican driver will need to score some points in the next few races if he is to vindicate Sauber’s decision to take him on for 2013.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.
Sunday is the biggest day of the year in motorsports, starting in the morning with Formula 1’s legendary Monaco Grand Prix.
Then, at Noon ET, it’s the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The final part of the tripleheader of racing is NASCAR’s longest race of the season, the 400-lap, 600-mile Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Newly-named NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Ken Squier gives you a great primer for what promises to be a memorable day around the world (see video above).