Sauber court misfortune at Monaco
27th May, 2001
With the possible exception of Malaysia, the Swiss Sauber team had one of their worst race weekends this season at Monaco. Starting in 15th
position on the grid, Kimi Räikkönen had to return to his pits 17 laps into the race,
where he remained for two laps to get a problem with the engine sensor fixed. After that
the rest of the day went troublefree, and at the end the young Finn ended up 10th, five
laps behind the race winner Michael Schumacher.
"I really thought my race was finished when I had to stop at the pits on lap 15 while
running ninth, but the team was able to bypass the problem so I rejoined five laps
down," said the young Finn. It was a shame because I really like the Monte Carlo
circuit. It's very different. After my unscheduled stop I ran without traction control.
The car ran trouble-free in the second part."
Nick Heidfeld didn't make it to the end of the first lap. He was hit by an Arrows and
ended up in the barriers coming out of Portier. "We made the car a little better this
morning so I was hoping for a good race. All I know is that one of the Arrows drivers hit
me in the corner before Portier. I rode up over his wheel, quite high, and crashed into
the barriers. I'm very disappointed."
Team Principal Peter Sauber could barely believe what he saw on the first lap "I am
very unhappy about the first lap, when Verstappen caused the accident which put Nick
Heidfeld into the wall. Kimi Räikkönen had to stop so that we could switch to an
emergency programme when a wheel-speed sensor failed on his car. He was able to restart,
and despite not having traction control was able to set competitive lap times on his way
to 10th place."