Formula One not fast enough at the moment – Sutil

2014 F1 season

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Adrian Sutil believes the new generation of F1 cars aren’t quick enough – but expects designers to make rapid progress.

The fastest lap of the first test session of the new season at Jerez was five-and-a-half seconds slower than the best at the same test last year.

“It’s a question of time,” said Sutil. “We’ve seen many years new regulations from the car, once it gets going they pick up seconds every month or every two months and the car improves.”

“So I expect at least four seconds in the end of the season, to the new car 2015 there will be a huge step and hopefully the Formula One will be fast enough again.”

Sutil spun during the test for the second day in a row: “It caught me again in the acceleration phase, just second-third gear.”

“Of course maybe it was different situation [to yesterday] but the cars are just quite tricky on power and the lack of grip, the lack of traction is huge compared to last year, yes.”

“In cold races for sure it will be a big problem,” he added. “We lost the blowing effect and now you really see how much we relied on the blowing.”

“So big effect we had and now it’s gone we have a single wing as well in the rear so there’s so much load missing that it’s just the traction just went down by a big, big step.”

Sutil said the most important job for Sauber in the next test at Bahrain was to “put some downforce on the car and make it driveable”.

“I think especially all the brake systems and engine-wise I’m I think quite comfortable with the Ferrari package. They did a good job. And so we have to focus on our car and driveability and especially the aerodynamics.”

Sutil said the team’s test started slowly but they made more progress as the week went on.

“Of course it could have been better the first few days we didn’t run so much and then when I was in the car it was a little bit better with the drive.

“But at least we got all the systems running, some other teams struggled more so we did some laps. I’m OK, I’m quite happy, it’s a new car with a new engine – so much new so you can’t expect to go out and do a hundred laps in a row so we still need to understand the car and learn. But not too bad for the first test, yes.”

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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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33 comments on “Formula One not fast enough at the moment – Sutil”

  1. Adrian talks about the 2015 car. I seriously doubt that he’ll be on the grid then.

  2. Well, they seem to have been fast enough for you to spin off twice in two days!

    1. Indeed. I like that it seems the cars are more tricky to handle, making it more about driver skill and a tad less about having a car that behaves as if its on rails!

    2. @magnificent-geoffrey

      Well, they seem to have been fast enough for you to spin off twice in two days!

      Bingo! Let the sorting begin. Some drivers will not do so well with the new power curve.

      Many years ago I had a fun motocross bike, a Rickman 125. Stainless steel frame with beautiful perfect welds, real craftsmanship. The motor was a Zundapp 125cc 2 stroke, very, very peaky power. The great majority of the HP was in the very last 500-1000 RPMs. Keep the R’s up at all times and don’t ever let it bog down or you have no grunt at all. Very predictable power band. There was never any worry of breaking traction at low RPMs, no way.

      Rode a lot of other bikes in the dirt too and it would take some getting used to with some of them. Around the same time I had my Rickman the Honda Elsinore 250 came out and several friends had them. We’d switch off and I’d have to careful with the throttle at low RPMs, especially while turning, or I would have the back tire coming around to the front before I knew what happened. Lots of power throughout the power band. More fun, but trickier.

      I think we’ll see some drivers caught out during races this season. Should be interesting.

  3. Sutil not fast enough for Formula One – Juan Pablo Heidfeld

  4. Not fast enough if you keep crashing and spinning

  5. Booo Adrian Sutil, booo…

  6. Formula One not fast enough at the moment – Sutil

    Sutil not fast enough at the moment – Everyone

    1. @juan-pablo-hedifeld-1 @red-andy

      Had a good laugh at these comments :-)

  7. The engines may be less powerful, but the combination of the turbo, ERS and less fuel should make up for it, as well as aerodynamic changes.

    Plus, it’s testing.

    1. No michael Brown the extra weight less downforce and less power all add up to the 5 sec gap, it was expected but even in a short track, such as these it is encouraging so everything sutil says unfortunately hes not f1 material for the majority of fans.

  8. Sutil definitely relies on blowing!

    1. haha and not having good enough grip!

  9. Hamilton said he’s taking hairpins in “fourth or fifth” gear! Maybe that’s where Sutil’s going wrong…
    (this was in Ted’s Notebook yesterday on Sky, after 28min)

    1. @bullfrog When I heard him say it, it really shocked me. 4th /5th in hairpins? Crazy stuff. They must be stuck in 4th for a while before the need to change up if that’s the case. (Though, they are 8 speed this year, so it’s more like 3rd/4th gear, but that’s still not 1st/2nd… That’s so serious torque).

      1. I can’t get my head around it, either – I’d read predictions that 1st would only be used off the start line, but…2nd and 3rd as well?!

        Sauber don’t have a simulator, do they? So Lewis and all the others would have played around beforehand with different driving techniques and gears, while the Sauber drivers had to find out the expensive way.

        1. that might well be part of why a team like Sauber and FI seems to be struggling a lot more with balancing harvesting/braking etc @bullfrog

      2. They’ve got so much Torque, they don’t even need to change down. The reason you change down is you lose momentum in slow corners in normal engines with very low torque output. But with these turbo engines without the lag, the torque is always present and in high doses.

      3. Gear ratios are fixed this year, so at some races they’ll block shift and skip some.

      4. 1st was hardly ever used though was it? I assumed it was only ever really used for launch. Plus, aren’t Jerez hairpins fairly wide?

    2. Hamilton never overdramatises for effect either :-)

      (may contain traces of sarcasm)

  10. Sutil really doesn’t look comfortable with that amount of torque. I thought Gutierrez was the Sauber that would be spending much of its time backwards, but apparently not. But let’s focus in more on the statement…

    Formula 1 isn’t fast enough at the moment

    In terms of raw laptime in 2014 the fastest F1 on the grid will be the fastest racing car in the world, but not by a large margin as was the case in 2013. In 2014 the fastest of the F1 cars will be only several second faster than Dallara’s new Japanese Super Formula series chassis, which is faster than the Dallara GP2/11 chassis, the modern Formula Renault 3.5 series chassis, definitely faster than the new Audi R18 replacement and is roughly based on the findings of the Dallara HRT cars. The car, (which you can read about here if you have AUTOSPORT+) will most likely be faster than this year’s F1 backmarkers. And yet, is that really a bad thing for Formula 1? I would argue no. It will still be the fastest series in the world comfortably, and it will going about it in a way that is much more technologically advanced, and being at the pinnacle of motorsport is to be at the pinnacle of technology. The only racing car that even remotely fields a level of technology to rival F1 is the Audi R18 e-tron quattro of the FIA’s World Endurance Championship, and yet that is made with hundreds of millions of pounds from one of the richest car manufacturer’s in the world, whereas the equally hybrid powered Marussia MR03 is faster and was made on a shoestring! Get over yourself, Adrian…

  11. Fast enough for you to crash twice in two days! I like Adrian, but I’d rather a faster, younger, far less experienced Paul di Resta was in his seat…

  12. As I see it, there’s two ways of looking at the fact that 2014 F1 cars are inevitably slower than their 2013 versions. You can complain that it’s not F1 any more (something something bring back 2004), or you can get excited at the insane rate of development we’re going to see in the next year or 2. I’m staunchly committed to the latter.

  13. “cars are just quite tricky on power and the lack of grip”
    Good. More slide please !

  14. Last year engines were a known quantity ie cooling requirements and they knew how long they lasted so could turn up do system checks then just run laps focusing on aero straight away. This year so many things have changed the engines likely havent been run at full power yet they have to get them running. Once engines are turned up and aero parts are on later they will catch last years times very fast. They likely havent set base setups yet where last year they would of done this by now. No worries on my side I think they could well be faster than last year before you know it. Nice if they left the rules for a few years to see where they end up, nice if lap records can be broken again like in other series.

    1. And as soon as Brawn comes back, he’s bound to find a loophole.

  15. I have never taken a liken to Sutil and have not considered him an ‘also ran’ but a ‘never was’. He has talent but I dont think saw its potential!

    BUT this is one time I agree with him, why are F1 cars slower???? Alonso said he was 10 seconds faster in 2004!!!! WHY?

    I am not trying to have a lend here, but why are our BEST cars in the world now that much slower??

    1. Because the FIA are trying to turn F1 from a “sport” to an “entertainment” @garns. Hence why such ludicrous proposals as double points are being floated and DRS still exists.

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