Q&A with Force Indias Adrian Sutil 29 Aug 2009
Seeing his team mate Giancarlo Fisichella give Force India their first pole position was no doubt accompanied by mixed feelings. In the end, of course, the overwhelming mood prevailed and Adrian Sutil shared in the teams celebrations. The German now promises to surprise in Sundays race and predicts that more will be seen of Force India at the remaining 2009 Grands Prix
Q: Adrian, after Giancarlos incredible pole position, how did it go for you today?
Adrian Sutil: It didnt go so well for me today as I was facing problems with the soft tyres. I did try it but could not better my time significantly in Q2, so Q3 didnt work out.
Q: You have been very strong all weekend - the track seems to be to your liking
AS: Yes, the track suits me and also the car. P11 is not too bad but in hindsight there would have been much more possible for me. I was very surprised when qualifying started and Ive been on P4 and that showed me the true performance of the car. I am a little disappointed that I didnt make it into Q3 because the car was there. Unfortunately I took the wrong decision with the tyres. But thats always a 50/50 risk.
Q: When you saw Giancarlo on pole but still cars out on their final lap, did you think he would hold on to P1?
AS: Naturally I was watching. I knew that weve been on an aggressive strategy. I was quite confident that if he could make it into Q3 then he could be among the first three, but when I saw that it was pole, that was an incredible experience!
Q: Force India were struggling last year, have improved significantly this season, but nobody was expecting to see them on pole position. What was the feeling like, to take on the top teams and beat them?
AS: It was fantastic! We have waited for a good result for so long. Its also a bit frustrating for a driver, always to be left without any chance, but now we are steadily going where we want to be. The car is good and the engineers are doing a fantastic job. Thats how racing should be. The fun is back.
Q: One week ago in Valencia the car was already giving a glimpse of what it is made of and what the upgrades can deliver
AS: Yes, in Valencia we felt that we are on the right development path and the car would do well. Valencia was a track where you need only little downforce and the corners are quite tight, so there were other cars that managed that better. But here in Spa I expected good performance as this track gives room to good aerodynamics.
Q: The grid is a rather surprising result: a Force India on pole, Toyota very strong and the usual suspects, Brawn GP and Red Bull, not shining. Were you also surprised?
AS: Yes, I was. I think that it was also a tyre decision. Many were running on primes and got faster after three laps, whereas those on the soft tyres probably havent been so lucky. But when I look at the outcome it is a bit difficult to judge why we have that grid position.
Q: You tried Q2 with the option tyres - was that a wrong decision?
AS: Probably, yes. The track was getting substantially better - everybody was putting in better times, but I was not really able to enhance my pace, which makes me guess that I should have returned to my initial choice. But probably I wanted too much, wanted to bend it and it didnt work out.
Q: In the last couple of races youve always been able to control Giancarlo. Was this a setback today or just the wrong tyre choice?
AS: I would not say that this weekend showed a new trend. For him everything worked out perfectly and I was caught with some minor problems, thats all. At the end all is so tight that if there are little irritations you find yourself some places behind.
Q: Are points your goal in the race?
Q: Where do you think that Giancarlo can finish the race?
AS: I think he will surprise many.
Q: And what about you?
AS: I will surprise even more.
Q: How do you see the strategy options that an 11th place start gives you?
AS: Yeah, I dont see that place as such a problem. I can see what fuel load others have, but dont get me wrong: being among the first three is always the best way to start a race. Starting from 11th always means that you have traffic ahead of you and that might make you lose a lot of grip and downforce, and that doesnt make it easier.
Q: In terms of downforce this track is pretty similar to Monza and Suzuka. Could that mean we will see much more from Force India?
AS: Yes, definitely. I think now weve got it and we will do well at a number of tracks. We truly have arrived in the midfield - and thats great!