- First Bahrain Test - Day One
Mastering braking system vital - Sutil
Adrian Sutil admits Sauber are not focusing on race pace or distance until they have mastered the new braking system, which is making the car more difficult to drive.
Rear brake-by-wire has been legalised for 2014, due to the significantly increased performance of the Energy Recovery System (ERS), which requires much greater variations in rear wheel braking torque than in previous seasons. It is therefore essential that team engineers install a system to compensate for the powerful effect the ERS has on brake balance and stability, and Sutil is happy to admit both he and the team are yet to master the new component just yet.
"At the moment, I'm having to change my style a little bit," Sutil said. "You can't press so hard because of the lack of downforce, so you have to take it easy on the brakes and sometimes it snaps.
"It's important to have the right map for the right corner, there's a lot of work there. We have a baseline set-up but it is not 100% yet. It's absolutely a learning curve at this moment. Sometime it is a bit strange. I miss the manual way of adjusting it but as soon as the engineering side is sorted we will know what to do with it. "
Despite an opening day run of 82 laps in Bahrain, Sutil is not about to let himself start thinking about race practice, as he insists the brake-by-wire system is one of a number of issues Sauber needs to get on top of before Melbourne.
"It is early days and our focus is on systems, getting those right, engine, power, driveability; there are so many things. We are in a better shape than Jerez but still not focusing on set-up work or something like that.
"Of course [the brake-by-wire is the priority]. You have to push and sometimes it goes right, sometimes it goes wrong but that's what testing is for. It's a bit of experimenting at the moment. For me as a driver it's a new system.
"We need to learn, so the focus is on the brake by wire system and on the engine at the moment. When we can say 'now we have got it' and then we can think where we are on the engine."