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Sutil plays down Hamilton comments 05 Jan 2007

Adrian Sutil (GER), ASM Formule 3, Dallara F305 Mercedes (2nd, left) and Lewis Hamilton (GBR), ASM Formule 3, Dallara F305 Mercedes (1st, right), enjoy the champagne. Formula 3 Euro Series, Hockenheim, Germany, 16 April 2005. World © Sutton

New Spyker recruit Adrian Sutil has responded modestly to predictions from McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton that he could have the edge over more experienced team mate Christijan Albers when he makes his Formula One race debut in March.

Sutil’s Grand Prix experience to date amounts to three Friday outings last season with Spyker (then Midland), but that hasn’t stopped former team mate Hamilton suggesting the German could spring a surprise - even though Sutil himself seems less sure.

“Christijan Albers is a nice and fast guy and does have a lot of experience in F1,” he told Formula1.com. “I do have to learn a lot - I have only had around 1500 km in an F1 car and do not know most of the circuits.”

Despite his initial modesty, Sutil did not completely rule out the possibility of giving Albers a wake-up call: “To be honest, every driver wants to beat his team mate. If I wasn't convinced of that, I shouldn’t be in F1. But I know I need time to learn.”

Sutil finished runner-up to then team mate Hamilton in the 2005 F3 Euro Series, before going on to win last year’s Japanese Formula Three championship.