Gutierrez encouraged by long run pace

By on Saturday, October 12, 2013
Sauber F1 Team

Sauber F1 Team

Esteban Gutierrez says he is encouraged by Sauber's long run pace ahead of Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

Gutierrez qualified in 14th place for the race as he bids to score his first points in Formula 1.

"We are not as competitive as on previous tracks," he said.

"We put a good lap together and now I have to stay optimistic for tomorrow, as I think we have a good pace in the long runs. Points are not easy, but we will do our best."

"I was just two tenths slower than Nico [Hulkenberg] in Q2. This is the first time for me driving on this track and I pushed right to the limit."

Gutierrez had completed his first run in Q1 when his car caught fire in the Sauber garage.

The fire, caused by unburnt fuel, was quickly extinguished and Gutierrez admits that he was relieved that his session was not curtailed prematurely.

"Regarding the fire, I just saw it and jumped out," he said.

"The guys had everything under control and I was relieved that I was able to continue my qualifying."

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