Esteban Gutierrez proved to be the big surprise of qualifying in Singapore today, making the top ten for the first time in his Formula One career.
Gutierrez explained on Thursday that he would be piloting an aggressive strategy for qualifying in Singapore, and it paid off as he ran just once at the end of Q2 with low fuel to finish P7, before opting not to run in the final session due to a lack of tires.
Speaking after the session, Gutierrez said: “At a certain stage, you set certain goals. You keep working persistently, improving, improving, improving, and then suddenly you’re only missing one thing, and this thing we knew it was qualifying.
“Now we come to Singapore knowing we needed to be more aggressive, and then to achieve it better than expected it’s very special. It’s a very good step in terms of confidence.”
The Mexican driver also outqualified his more-established teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, who dropped out in Q2, finishing P11.
Despite making the final session, Gutierrez did not run as he had run out of tires.
“I run out of tires. Getting a feeling for the new tires is really a challenge, when you go out only for one lap and to feel the track improvement and feel everything… it’s something I’m lacking of experience, so I needed to have this experience, to go maximum for qualifying and to really use everything we have. This is what we did and it paid off.”