Sutil: “I have done everything to get my comeback”

2013 F1 season

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Adrian Sutil believes he gave a good account of himself in his test for Force India today.

Sutil is in contention for the the final place on the grid with Jules Bianchi, who will drive the team’s car tomorrow.

He told media in Barcelona: “I think it was obvious this time today we show that I’m still quick and that’s very important. Hopefully I will get the drive.”

“I don’t know who has better chances,” he added. “I think I have done everything to do to get my comeback here. And now it’s up to them to decide.

“There’s one more competitor in there and for sure it’s not all about driving, maybe it’s also a little bit of business behind it but I can’t do anything else. I did a good day, that was very important for me so I can sleep without any worries.”

Sutil said his history with the team stands in his favour and he doesn’t feel a year’s absence will be a disadvantage.

“They know me better than any other team here: five years – actually six years with the test driver year I was with that team here – they know how my performance is.

“And I think a lot of drivers they show if you are maybe one year if you’re not driving and you come back you can do that quite easily. Maybe with a longer time, two, three years, it gets more difficult. But I think one year is not a problem.”

He said the team expects to make their decision within the next week: “They can’t take long any more – in three weeks there’s the race in Melbourne. So it’s about time to confirm the drivers!”

Bianchi, who also drove for the team at Jerez, will have another run in the car during the final day of the test tomorrow.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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72 comments on “Sutil: “I have done everything to get my comeback””

  1. Hope he gets it.

    1. I hope he doesn’t, shouldn’t have stabbed someone.

      1. You and me weren’t there. We can’t judge what happened. Personally, i prefer Sutil to get the seat because of his driving. I think he is underrated, and is actually very fast and consistent.

        1. Fair point, but I would rather er on the side of caution then put him in a team if it were me. He will always be damaged goods reputation wise, and I think FI aren’t really able to afford any more of that!

          1. He will always be damaged goods reputation wise


            What about Hamilton, he did burn outs in Melbourne, do you consider that a black stain as well?

          2. What about Hamilton, he did burn outs in Melbourne, do you consider that a black stain as well?

            How many people ended up in the hospital after Hamilton’s burnouts?

            I do get what you’re saying, and I personally don’t have a problem with Sutil driving again — but I’m not sure that’s a fair comparison.

      2. I hope he REALLY gets it. Especially since whatever he did off track, he accepted punishment for and paid his debt to society. Now he has just as much right to make a living practicing his profession as the next man. Or do you mean to tell us that you think that his criminal punishment should be augmented by a sporting sanction that you’ve arbitrarily decided he merits?

      3. @oakrichardson Stabbed someone?..are u having a laugh..He accidently broke a glass of that Lux guy..He didnt STAB someone. Hope he gets the drive, he deserves a place in F1. Had a better year than Di Resta in 2011 but got shafted by the team after his escapade with Lux.

        1. Patrick Dalee how do you know that for sure? There are plenty of drivers that deserve a place in F1 that have not pointed a sharp object at somebody and proded them with it. It gives off a bad image. In 2011 Di Resta was a rookie, and beat him for the first half of the season. So not amazing really, considering Di Resta is not that highly rated by the majority of users on this site!

        2. how do you accidentally stab someone in the neck with a broken glass?

          1. @Jawort there is a big difference between stabbing someone and hitting them.By all accounts he Hit Lux while he had the glass in his hand..This is not stabbing someone now is it.

      4. What does that have to do with his ability to drive a car at speed?

        1. @prisoner-monkeys I agree, the judgement didn’t revoke Sutil’s superlicence or put any other restrictions on his participation in F1 races. If we’re saying that Sutil cannot race in F1 because of the conviction, then we might also say that he shouldn’t race any cars or shouldn’t play piano.

    2. REALLY REALLY hope he doesn’t ! he’s average, to say the least. Force India should remember that he’s hardly spectacular and bet on a new young driver, instead of keeping the old chap onboard.

      And not to mention I generally hate him. Dunno why, I just do. Sorry Adrian !

      1. @fer-no65 Really average?!!.Ridiculous statment.This really average driver out scored the media Darling overated Di Resta in 2011..Hes not the best driver in F1 but definatley deserves his place in the sport.

        1. @padelee a guy that’s been with the same team for (erm, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011… yeah 5 years !) for 5 years JUUUUST manages to beat a rookie coming from touring cars.

          Yeap, spectacular stuff indeed !

          Don’t take it too wrong, it’s my opinion. I didn’t shout Avenger or all the other guys that want to see him get a ride.

    3. I’m sorry, but I fail to see how his antics off-track affect his driving. I am not Sutil’s no.1 fan and I would much rather they sign Bianhci, but unless he loses sponsorship because of it or can’t get into certain countries I don’t hold that against him.

  2. For precisely the reason that the team know him well I would rather they sign Bianchi. I think Force India know he is a good, solid performer but was never really going to progress much further up the grid, hence he remained in the Force India: a midfield car.

    Bianchi however could potentially develop into a possible contender for a front-running seat and Force India would reap the benefit from that as they have Hulkenberg in that he will score them many points when up to speed. Also, there is the lure of a deal on Ferrari engines for 2014 so hopefully the financial benefit Sutil brings won’t be the deciding factor, rather the respective driver’s talent.

    1. I don’t understand the Ferrari deal here.No one knows who has better turbos until say mid 2014.

    2. I understand what you’re getting at, but you have to remember that Sutil went out in 2011 being 9th in the WDC, directly behind the top teams, which I consider the best anyone could do in a FI. And he managed to dominate his team mate in the second half of the season.

      Which brings me to the real question at FI: Why is PDR still driving for them?

      He’s had two seasons with the team and got pummelled in both and hasn’t shown significant development in his driving. He certainly hasn’t attracted any interest from other teams and there’s little doubt he’ll be out of F1 after his current contract runs out.

      So, if I were to chose two drivers, I’d probably take SUT as the steady and quick hand that may not have won a race like Brasil 2012, but would probably have brought home the car on the podium, and maybe have BIA in the second car to keep the ‘in’ with Ferrari.

      1. That’s DIR, not PDR, of course. My bad.

        1. Lewisham Milton
          21st February 2013, 20:48

          Why don’t you just use their names? Then you won’t confuse yourself.

      2. The hype around DIR baffles me too…

        1. Same; Yes, he beat Vettel to an F3 title, but in F1, he hasn’t really set the World on fire, whereas Vettel, when he entered in a midfield car (Toro Rosso) managed to show flashes of brilliance.
          Haven’t seen that from Paul DiResta

      3. Yep, I ‘d sign Adrian Sutil and Jues Bianchi.
        As a DTM follower I was a Paul di Resta supporter to his F1 road, but I agree he didn’t showed any real brillance after two seasons.

        Sutil surely wants a revenge after what he’s been through, and Bianchi deserves his F1 chance.

      4. @proesterchen – I think Di Resta had done okay for himself so far, and bearing in mind he has had only two seasons I think we shouldn’t be too quick to judge. I will definitely agree with you though if he doesn’t improve this year and command the team.

        I do like him though as a fellow Scot, so I would naturally be biased towards him!

      5. @proesterchen couldnt agree more.The British media bias towards Di Resta wrecks my head. By media i dont mean F1 fanatic, but the BBC and Sky Sports.Not long ago Sutil was being linked with replacing Massa at Ferrari.Some people have very short memories.

    3. ‘Bianchi however could potentially develop into a possible contender for a front-running seat’

      Potential is an ugly word, especially in Formula 1.

      1. @me262 – nonetheless, “dependable” is perhaps an even more ugly word: it connotates boring and uninspiring!

        1. @vettel1 Damon Hill began his F1 career at 32 – Damon Hill proclaimed himself World Champion ‘dependably’ at the age of 36? or was he dependable before proclaiming himself world champion?

          1. @me262 – the problem I have always had with Hill was that he nearly got beaten by his rookie teammate in ’96 and, had Senna lived, would likely have no claim to fame. I would conclude Villeneuve was better, which I think actually backs up my point.

  3. Just drop Di Resta. Problem solved.

  4. I still don’t understand why Force India want Sutil?

    1. Because he’s one of the best 10 drivers around, that’s why.

      1. He really isn’t.

  5. They should go with Sutil. What this team needs is a consistent driver in these times when there are so many reports about financial woes. I’m afraid however they won’t be able to pay for the Mercedes next year and will go with Bianchi for Ferrari engines that have already been declared cheaper than the Merc.

  6. If Adrian Sutil is worth his salt, and has any sense of shame at all or feeling that he is a man — he will set the track on fire this year if he is selected.

    If we still see P6-P12 finishes from him this year – then drop him into the abyss forever.

    I still feel Bianchi is a bit of a novice – loved him in his GP2 days but his overtakes back then remind me of a to-be Grosjean.

    1. Well, people have called Bianchi a serial crasher. So maybe that’s where the Grosjean comparison comes in..

    2. After reading Will Buxton’s impressions from testing last week, it seems he thinks (and many in the paddock as well) that Sutil is fired up exactly for that:

      But if one interview stood out for me from the week, it was the one with a driver who may not even have a race seat in 2013. Adrian Sutil stepped into an F1 car for the first time in over a year on the third day of the test and impressed everyone. Force India has a spare race seat this season, and their former driver is favorite to land it. A year out of the sport has not dulled his hunger nor his senses, but from speaking to him I learned that it has given him that rarest of gifts: perspective. He is relaxed, rested, and has come to appreciate that there is more to life than racing. He sees the wider picture, he sees the world and all it has to offer. But still he wants to race.

      I’d like to see Adrian back in a race seat. With his raw pace, combined with a new maturity and worldliness, he could be a hugely potent force in 2013.

  7. I think Sutil or Bianchi both aren’t suited for the seat.
    If I had to choose, I would go for Bianchi.
    It’s easier to learn racecraft than speed.

    Sutil had his chance. And yes, I know he showed good things, showed speed and everything, but not consistently enough to be considered for that seat again.

    If I had to have one talent and one pay driver, I would’ve gone for Kobayashi and Senna.

    1. Sutil was very very consistent.

      1. @magon4 – consistent yes, but he never set the world on fire in my opinion. Which links us back to what I’ve said here.

        1. @vettel1 he qualified 2nd at Monza in 2009..I would call that fairly impressive!!

          1. @padelee – I’ve never really found any “surprise” grid positions in the race-fuel qualifying era that…surprising. Strong finishes are more representative, of which Sutil has had a few but nothing special I don’t think personally.

          2. @vettel1 Ya fair enough point. He probably has had stronger finishes than Di Resta all the same

          3. @padelee – absolutely, but currently the fight is between Bianchi and Sutil! I still think Di Resta deserves one more year to justify his place in Force India, if however he underperforms this year though (aka doesn’t convincingly beat whoever his teammate happens to be) then he should be replaced by a better driver.

        2. he has set the world on fire quite a few times, and he almost never makes any mistakes. He is Top 10 material, easily.

  8. I sincerely hope he doesn´t get it… He´s had his chance as Brundel said. Bianchi, may be a pay driver but he´s shown talent and is younger!
    Regarding the engines… they might have declared them cheaper than the merc engines but somehow I believe that they won´t be bad at all… Ferrari did create some good engines in the first turbo era and there should be no reason to believe they can´t do it again. For sure they have been out of forced induction engines for a while now but they are no beginners when it comes to engine building!

    1. @catracho504 just because Bianchi has ‘shown talent and is younger’, dosent equate to him being the better option. Who’s to say that Bianchi will reach Sutil’s level? (thats right..90 gp’s, 95 points 1 fastest lap) thing is it may be that FI are just using Sutil for bargaining power with Ferrari as has been mentioned

      1. 90 gp’s, 95 points 1 fastest lap

        You forget that the points system changed after 2009, so the fact you’re putting doesn’t hold a good argument. In fact as per the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system(in effect 2003-2009) , Sutil would have got 33 points.

        Who’s to say that Bianchi will reach Sutil’s level?

        You never know. Who’s to say that he might not actually be better? Every coin has 2 sides. Sutil was fast but terribly inconsistent, capable of brilliance on one day and utterly unforgivable errors on the next.

        1. You forget that the points system changed after 2009, so the fact you’re putting doesn’t hold a good argument. In fact as per the 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 system(in effect 2003-2009) , Sutil would have got 33 points.

          yes well without getting technical, Sutil has 90 gp’s an Bianchi has 0

          You never know. Who’s to say that he might not actually be better? Every coin has 2 sides. Sutil was fast but terribly inconsistent, capable of brilliance on one day and utterly unforgivable errors on the next.

          sure..that goes without saying. Im trying to find a balance as pro-Bianchi fans are in the mindset of ‘ Sutil never set the World on Fire and its Bianchi’s time ‘…taking it for granted that Bianchi is the younger and therefore more promising when he hasnt even contested 1 gp. He’s definitely no prodigy and if he dosent get this seat he will eventually get his chance, Formula 1 won’t suffer for it as IMO Sutil is decently capable

          1. If Razia gets a chance over Glock, then Bianchi should certainly get a chance over Sutil. Bianchi might not be prodigious a la Grosjean or Hulkenberg(in recent years) but he has a much better CV than several others like Razia, Chilton and van der Garde. He dominated F3 Euroseries in 2009, and would have won FR3.5 had Tech1 not been disqualified earlier on for a technical infringement(which cost Bianchi a win), and had Frijns not launches a full-blooded assault on him at Barcelona.
            Force India are no Ferrari. They won’t lose much if they take on a rookie. Sutil has had his chance. Bianchi should be properly evaluated only after getting his chance.

  9. I can put your mind to rest, Adrian.

    It’s got nothing to do with driving.

  10. I’m sort of over Sutil. Not because he is a bad driver, he’s actually quite good! I just don’t find Adrian very inspiring, nothing to be excited over. Sort of Jarno Trulli-ish.

    I think a dynamic driver like Kobiashi or Alguersuari would have been a good choice.

    Either way, my #2 team is Force India, I hope the have a killer season!!!!!

  11. When a team is deciding between drivers during testing, like this, what do you think they’re actually looking for? Sutil says he’s done everything to prove he deserves the ride, but…. what does that involve? Ease of communication with the team? Intuitive feel for the car and settings? Even though Sutil says he’s proved his pace, it seems like speed is really hard to prove during testing (differing fuel loads, emphasis on establishing parameters, etc.). I’d like to know what everyone thinks. Is there a way for Sutil or Bianchi to stand out in testing, or will it boil down more to the business end of things?

    1. @aficion – of course SFI will know each drivers respective times on the fuel loads, so they will have the crucial data which turns meaningless times into meaningful ones. We won’t know of course, but you can be damned sure SFI will know.

      Sutil though can’t possibly evaluate his performance relative to anyone else, so he can only hope that his best is good enough…

  12. Bianchi has got money in his pocket and aint afraid to use it

  13. You’ve everything you can to get your comeback, but you also had five years with the team…

  14. Sutil is no special FI knows this, thats why they got in Hulk… but he moved away sooner than what they planned for. Bianchi is unknown quantity for FI… they always planned for Bianchi to take seat in 2014… but now they are looking for a intermediate plan for 2013. next year FI will be using Ferrari engines and Bianchi will get the drive. Maybe Sutil gets it for this year with Bianchi as third driver.

  15. The choice between Bianchi and Sutil is not an easy one. Sutil is the safer option, but also the less rewarding one. We have seen his talent limit, and after 16 months of not racing single-seaters, I’m unsure of his level. He’ll take time to adjust to the standards, but he knows the team and has the experience.
    Bianchi also knows the team. And his added advantage is that he had a busy 2012. He participated in nine Friday practice outings for Force India, and in addition to that he put in a stellar performance in Formula Renault 3.5 and would have won had his team(Tech 1) not been disqualified early on for a technical infringement(which cost him a race win) and of course, that brutal last-race assault by Frijns. Yes, maybe his Friday practice outings weren’t as convincing as Hulkenberg’s the year before, but he’s quick. Another advantage could be that taking Bianchi might also give Force India a Ferrari engine deal, which could be better than their current Mercedes deal. Bianchi is untested, but which rookie isn’t? Force India aren’t a top team like Ferrari for whom taking a rookie would be a risk. Sutil had his chance, he was reasonably good, but you had a feeling that he’d just about reached a ceiling by the end. Bianchi, on the other hand, is a potentially more rewarding option and should be handed a chance atleast to underline his credentials.
    Apart from all this, Force India’s financial problems might also influence their decision. Sutil had had a lot more time to find backers, while Bianchi has spent a lot after 2 seasons of GP2 and 1 season of FR3.5. He might be more limited as sponsors, although his appointment could help Force India if Ferrari agree to a better engine deal than Force India’s current one with Mercedes.
    In the middle of all these problems is di Resta. His late-2012 performance was bad enough, but what was worse was that his attitude seemed to alienate him from the team. He was beaten by Sutil in 2011, and Hulkenberg in 2012. Despite that he still believed that he deserved a seat in McLaren over Perez because he’d ‘beaten Vettel in F3’ and also said that Perez was McLaren’s choice keeping in mind the commercial potential. He might beat Sutil(who’s coming back after a year out) or Bianchi(who is a rookie), but he needs to be convincing if he wants to keep his seat in 2014. And moving up to a top team? He should put that idea on hold till he really shows he is better than Vettel.

  16. Wait till Narain takes the second seat, that’ll be an eye opener . . . :)

  17. I don’t understand why so many people cannot see the forest from the trees. Adrian provided the best place in Force India’s F1 history (9th place in the final standings, actually he was the best from the rest, the rest =the major teams + ahead of Williams, Torro Rosso and Renault drivers). Last year, the much-overhyped Di Resta and “the wonder kid” Nico Hulkenberg finished on 14 and 11th places. So, where is the objectivism? The sport is based on performance or what? Sutil is a very underrated driver, i think that he should hire a better PR manager, because it’s sad that such a talented driver could miss his chance. And once again, even he was not in a cockpit in the last year, he is still a secound quicker than DiResta ;). Barcelona tests: Adrian Sutil, 1:22.877 / Paul di Resta, 1:23.971. The results are speaking and the objectivism is howling….

    1. And once again, even he was not in a cockpit in the last year, he is still a secound quicker than DiResta ;). Barcelona tests: Adrian Sutil, 1:22.877 / Paul di Resta, 1:23.971.

      You talk about objectivity yet fail to look at the fact the 2 were running totally different programs on different tyre compounds & on different days.

      Sutil’s fastest lap Thursday was on the soft compound on a short stint, Di Resta’s fastest time this week was on the medium compound during a longer stint. As such its unfair to compare.

      1. …..and Jules Bianchi 1:25.732.

        1. It was wet today so his times are totally irrelevant when comparing to Di Resta/Sutil.

  18. Ok, let’s analyse it from a different perspective;
    Sutil – 1:22.877, Top: Alonso 1:21.875. Dif + 1.002
    DiResta – 1:24.144, Top: Rosberg 1:22.616. Dif. + 1.528
    Bianchi 1:25.732, Top: Hamilton 1:23.282. Diff +2.450 51

    I think that is a hell of a difference. Very objective…..

    1. Not very objective since you failed to mention it was wet for most of today & that Bianchi never got a fully dry run.

      1. I was very objective; i have compared the times related to the first place in the SAME SESSION (Alonso, Rosberg, Hamilton). Sutil obtained the best time ;).

  19. i find it interesting how much support Bianchi has to get the seat despite everyone hating on pay drivers. comments like “sutil has had his chance” you could say the same about petrov, kovalainen, glock etc…yet everyone is frustrated by the fact they have been squeezed out by pay drivers. I guess the difference is that no one really likes Sutil personally. In a year with so many rookies and pay drivers maybe its better for bianchi to have to wait a year, where he can then replace di resta who has been very underwhelming.

    1. Sutil had his chance and he PROVED his value. Spyker, Midland and the early Force India were not competitive teams. Since Force India provided o better car, the results came imediately. How about DiResta ? In his both years in F1, he was outscored by his both teammates. But he has…another chance, for the third time. Excepting Giancarlo Fisichella (who left Force India for Ferari for the remaining 5 races in 2009), who was a much experienced contender, Sutih managed to outscore all his teammates (Albers, Yamamoto, Liuzzi, DiResta). So, again and again, objectively speaking, he briliantlly managed to prove that he is a worthy F1 driver. All that he needs is a Simon Fuller-kind of PR manager and a famous supermodel girlfriend. :))))

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