• Sauber

Sutil predicts 'four second' improvement

ESPN Staff
February 1, 2014 « Ecclestone slams Jerez 'farce' | Ross Brawn announces he is 'definitely retiring' »
Sutil got his first run out of the Sauber in Jerez © Sutton Images
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Adrian Sutil believes the 2014 cars will improve by at least four seconds over the course of the season, despite an opening week of testing which saw the fastest time drop significantly below the best in Jerez last year.

Kevin Magnussen recorded the best time in Jerez with a 1.23.276, which was far slower than Felipe Massa's 1.17.879 from the corresponding pre-season opener in 2013. This was coupled with some teams, notably reigning world champions Red Bull, struggling with reliability issues throughout the course of the week.

But Sutil insists nothing can be read into the slower times in Jerez as the teams adjust to the new cars ahead of the 2014 season, and that the pace will inevitably come over the coming months.

"It [the new car] is not boring to drive," Sutil said. "You have got to do a lot of work to keep it on the circuit. It is just very low grip and the car is always moving around.

"But it is just a question of time. We have seen over many years with new regulations once it gets going the teams pick up seconds every month or every two months and the cars improve.

"So, I expect a gain of at least four seconds by the end of the season. There will be a huge step and then hopefully F1 will be fast enough again."

While it was talk about engines which dominated the opening test Sutil, who spun out on the final day of testing, believes the struggle to get heat into the rear tyres in Jerez could be a big problem for teams when the season begins.

"Yes, in cold races for sure - it will be a big problem," he said. "We have lost the blowing effect and now we really see how much we relied on that. It had a big effect and now it is gone. Also we now have a single wing in the rear. There is so much load missing. The traction has gone down by a big, big step.

"The car is quite tricky on power and the lack of grip and the lack of traction is huge compared to last year. It caught me again [on Friday] on an installation lap in second or third gear [before he spun]."

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