Sauber pit stop errors were “inexcusable”

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

Top Sauber staff gave a damning verdict on the team’s performance after major errors were made during their pit stops in Austria.

Team principal Monisha Kaltenborn said the team’s performance was “not acceptable” after one car was released from the pits unsafely and the other was brought in at the wrong time by mistake.

The team failed to secure the right-rear wheel nut on Esteban Gutierrez’s car before sending it back onto the track. Gutierrez was told to stop in the pit lane and was pushed back to have the wheel attached.

They were given a ten-second stop-go penalty during the race and Gutierrez will be penalised ten places on the grid at the next event.

“Our work today is not acceptable,” said Kaltenborn. “Such a mistake at a pit stop must simply not happen.”

“We will carefully look into our procedures and the consequences, and we will take appropriate measures.

“Today, both drivers put in good performances, but this doesn’t help when we make mistakes. We cannot afford that.”

Head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara revealed the team had also called the wrong car into the pits, which he said was “inexcusable”.

“The mistakes at the pit stop spoiled our race,” he said. “Procedures were not adhered to.”

“As a result we stopped the wrong car on the track. Equally unacceptable was Esteban’s first pit stop, during which he was released although the wheel nut on his rear right wheel didn’t go on.

“At the same time, Adrian [Sutil], who was out on the track, was stopped by a radio communication which was simply a huge mistake.”

2014 Austrian Grand Prix

Browse all 2014 Austrian Grand Prix articles

Image © Sauber

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

10 comments on “Sauber pit stop errors were “inexcusable””

  1. Why do they have to take 2 penalties in different races for a mistake during a pit stop?

    Maybe this sort of stuff could be handled with a fine, or just 1 penalty… 2 races spoiled seems a bit excessive.

    Tho, I maintain, no sympathy toward Sauber this year for me… not at all!

    1. They want to heavily punish failure to attach the wheels, as it poses a big threat to safety. If you can deter it with harsh penalties then you eliminate the risk.

      1. I’d rather go for the mandatory 3 or even 5 seconds pit stops.

        1. Yes, the time penalty at the end of their next stop would be a fitting penalty for an early release. At least they should get that stop right.
          But what are Sauber doing messing around with stupid traffic lights? They could have spent that money on a proper driver.

  2. If they keep going at this rate, in both performance and mistakes, the headlines could very well end up being ‘Sauber inexcusable’. This hardly looks like the team with the handy strategies in 2010 and 2011, the champion beating performances of 2012 or the comeback kids from 2013..

    1. Because all those staff got pinched to the big teams…

  3. The wheels are certainly falling off at Sauber (ahem).

    Personally, I think they are missing having a decent driver to inspire the mechanics and make them feel that what they are doing is worthwhile. Hulkenberg, Perez, Heidfeld, Kubica, etc… these seem like the kind of characters I would want leading my team, not Sutil and Gutierrez.

    Top drivers do more than just drive the car well, they have the capacity to unite a team to a common purpose.

  4. Now *that’s* how you treat your two drivers equally. If you botch one guy’s pit stop, get on the radio and sabotage the other guy’s race, too. I’m sure that Gutiérrez and Sutil appreciate that the team gave them the same consideration.

    1. Brilliant

  5. I wrote it a couple of weeks ago, Sauber needs a mayor change, starting with Monisha. Under her management Sauber has lost direction, no drivers, no sponsors / no money, bad qualy and race strategies, important staff has left the team, bad car designs. What’s next? Of course crappy pit stops.

Comments are closed.