By Phillip Horton on Sunday, March 17, 2013
Sauber’s Nico Hulkenberg was left in a dejected mood after he was forced to withdraw from the Australian Grand Prix.
A fuel system problem meant that Sauber elected not to send Hulkenberg out for the opening race of the season.
“I’m bitterly disappointed about what happened today, but at the same time I’m not blaming anyone,” he said.
“Things like this happen in racing. What is particularly bothering me is the fact that I lost all this mileage today, which is so important particularly at the beginning of the season. It would have given me a lot of valuable data and information for the next races.”
“Obviously, Melbourne is not a good place for me. It was my third Grand Prix here and the third time that I leave this place empty handed. The only good thing is that the next race takes place next weekend.”
Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn apologised to new signing Nico Hulkenberg.
“This was not the way we expected the new Formula One season to start, particularly after things looked quite good in the free practice sessions. The problem with the fuel system was unlucky, particularly at this point in the race weekend. We are very sorry for Nico.”
Esteban Gutierrez finished in thirteenth place in his first race.
“My main goal was to finish the race, and to achieve that is really enjoyable. I want to thank the whole team, because yesterday in qualifying we had a good chance and today we were able to recover some of what we lost yesterday. We have a good base and in the future we will try and push forward,” said the Mexican.