Sauber anonymous once again, but Sutil does finish

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A quick pop quiz to begin this article. Without looking, tell me where Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez finished during yesterday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Any idea? I doubt it. Once again, both drivers were pretty anonymous for the entire race, and the team is now just one of three stuck on zero points.

By the way, the answer to that question is 16th and 17th place, with Gutierrez ahead of Sutil.

In fact, Gutierrez didn’t have a bad start. Thanks to Sebastian Vettel’s grid penalty, he started up in 13th place, and managed to stay there for a little while. Eventually, Vettel, Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen all managed to find a way past, and it went downhill from there for the Mexican.

“Obviously, we cannot be happy with this result,” Gutierrez said. “It is not where we want to be. It was a good start, and I managed to gain some positions. After that I just kept dropping back. During the race it was very challenging to keep the tires alive and to have good speed on the straights.

“Nevertheless, we should not lose our motivation. We have the test this week and we need to have the right programme to get things sorted out.”

Adrian Sutil did meet his own target of seeing the checkered flag in Spain, but given that he finished only ahead of the Marussia and Caterham drivers, he has little else to smile about.

“The race was not very exciting for me,” he said. “Unfortunately, the performance of my car was not good and I was struggling with the grip.

“It was a disappointing race for me. We still have a huge problem with the grip level, especially while turning into the corners. We still have to work on this. Now we have to look forward and do better during the upcoming races.”

Given that Simona de Silvestro, Giedo van der Garde and Sergey Sirotkin have all set their sights on a seat with Sauber next season, such a disastrous start to the season is the last thing that either Gutierrez or Sutil would have wanted. The car had undergone some weight loss for the race, but it appeared to have little effect.

Attention will now turn to Monaco in two weeks’ time, but it might take something out of the ordinary for Sauber to score any points at F1’s glamor event.

Dakar Rally video highlights from the concluding Stage 14

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. ET and Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

The 40th Dakar Rally is now history.

Nearly 550 competitors began the early 5,600-mile long race 15 days ago and concluded Saturday.

As we’ve done throughout the Rally, here are some key video highlights from NBCSN’s coverage of the Rally:

TRUCKS

CARS

QUADS

 

MOTORCYCLES