SINGAPORE, September 21st, 2013 (F1Plus / Jacob Polychronis) - Esteban Gutierrez has stunned the field by qualifying in a career high tenth position in Singapore on Saturday night.
Gutierrez, whose previous best qualifying performance was 14th, set the seventh fastest time in Q2 of 1:44.245 to qualify for the final session. Gutierrez has spent little time resting on his laurels though as he shifts his focus to tomorrow night’s race.
“For tomorrow, as I said, qualifying is one thing and the race is another” said Gutierrez. “Now I need to switch my performance to the race. Race performance has been very good in the last few races. The way we have been driving the car and the tyre is in a good way.”
The surprise result was attributed to greater aggression by Gutierrez, who aims to maintain the approach for races to come.
“I think this approach is the approach we need to keep. It’s very evident in Formula One that you have no room to make a mistake, you cannot give away two tenths. Obviously you try to be as aggressive as possible.”
A primary factor which accentuated the need for aggression is the high degradation on tyres suffered here at the Marina Bay Circuit.
“Singapore is a special case because the tyres only last one lap. You really have no option, you have to go for one lap and that’s it.”
Gutierrez has suffered a disappointing season thus far in which he has failed to score a championship point. Having previously only started from no higher than 14th on the grid, Sunday night represents the Mexican’s best opportunity yet to score points in 2013.
“It’s a big difference to start from P10, so we will try to get the most from that.”
Gutierrez did not run in Q3, opting to preserve tyres for tomorrow’s race.