Formula 1 - Sauber: F1 needs rookie rethink

Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn believes that Formula 1 should think carefully about how to better prepare rookie drivers.

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Sauber F1 drivers (L-R) Nico Hulkenberg of Germany, Esteban Gutierrez of Mexico and Robin Frijns of the Nehterlands (Reuters)

Esteban Gutierrez earned himself a five-place grid penalty for the Bahrain Grand Prix after crashing into the back of Adrian Sutil in China last weekend.

With the Mexican struggling to match the speed of Sauber team-mate Nico Hulkenberg so far this season, and with F1's other new boys facing their own difficulties, Kaltenborn thinks it points to wider issues for the sport itself.

"We can see his potential but he made a mistake, and that is the dilemma at the moment about rookie drivers," Kaltenborn told AUTOSPORT.

"I am not trying to justify things, but to not have any Friday sessions to practice in, and then come in to a world of F1 where there is a lot of pressure because there are only a limited amount of opportunities to score points, is very hard."

AUTOSPORT revealed that Pirelli has put forward a proposal for teams to be handed an extra set of tyres for first free practice if they choose to run a driver who has not started a grand prix.

Kaltenborn believes such a scenario would be a big step forward, and it would also bring some added interest to Friday running on a GP weekend.

"I think trying to do something on a Friday could make it exciting for all the people involved," she added.

"It would be exciting for the fans who would see more cars running there, it would be exciting for the tyre suppliers and it would give teams an opportunity to prepare better."

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