SPIELBERG Austria (Reuters) - Sauber branded their performance as “inexcusable” on Sunday after a bungled Austrian Grand Prix pitstop led to them telling the wrong car to stop, ruining the race for both their drivers.
The Swiss-based Formula One team, once a consistent midfield presence, are in a sorry state this season without a single point in eight races.
Their chances of scoring at the Red Bull Ring disappeared when Mexican Esteban Gutierrez was released from his first pitstop before a wheel nut had been secured - an error that brought him a 10-second stop and go penalty.
The order to stop was mistakenly sent to the team’s other driver, Adrian Sutil, who was on track and obeyed. He continued once the error became apparent but by then the damage was done.
“What we delivered today is inexcusable,” said head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall‘Ara.
“The mistakes at the pit stop spoiled our race. Procedures were not adhered to. As a result we stopped the wrong car on the track. Adrian, who was out on the track, was stopped by a radio communication which was simply a huge mistake.”
Writing by Alan Baldwin, editing by Tony Goodson