Adrian Sutil Q&A: Force India can overhaul Renault 06 Oct 2011
Two days before the Singapore Grand Prix, Force India boss Vijay Mallya said that keeping P6 in the constructors championship - at that stage the team were one point ahead of Sauber - was paramount. After the race things looked very different, with P5 suddenly a possibility thanks to the Silverstone squads excellent race - and Renaults dismal one. Adrian Sutil is now convinced that catching and passing the black and gold cars is possible. What better way for Force India to look forward to the forthcoming inaugural Indian Grand Prix?
Q: Adrian, things are going better and better for Force India. Now even P5 in the constructors championship could be within reach. Do you think this realistic?
Adrian Sutil: Yes, things look pretty promising right now. And yes, I think it is possible. We had a tough start and only really got into gear some races into the season. But, obviously, now we are on a good path. For me it is better to start weaker and get stronger in the course of the season than the other way around. We are now in a good position - and given the fact that there will not be so many technical changes in 2012 my guess is that we will also be competitive next year.
Q: Last year Force India missed out on P6 in the team standings by just one point, losing that position at the very last race. So obviously it is easier to attack than to defend
AS: That was pretty tough to swallow. But one point is one point and I would be happy if we could do the same to Renault this year as Williams did to us in 2010. (laughs)
Q: The reliability of the VJM04 has moved up a few notches
AS: Yes, thats why Paul (di Resta) and I have both been able to deliver points. We havent tasted that kind of success in a long time! (laughs) My hope is that it stays that way because fact is you need both cars in the points if you want to bridge a 22-point gap - and then get that extra point that gives us the lead [over Renault]. Of course Suzuka is a very different track to Singapore - so we have to wait and see - but my guess is that we will be competitive over the weekend. Our upgrades that we brought to Singapore worked very well, so there is no reason we shouldnt do well here. And with the next upgrade for the Indian Grand Prix in three weeks we should be well off until the end of the season. For me it is pretty cool being able to race against the big guns - and fingers crossed we will be able to do that as well in the next couple of races.
Q: Vijay has repeatedly said that he will decide his driver line-up for 2012 when the season is over, sometime in mid December. What is your feeling?
AS: I have to say that my performance has been on an upward curve over the years so I am pretty confident of staying with Force India. We have very much grown together and the vibes are excellent, so I do not see a real reason to change that. We are definitely getting stronger with every race, which I hope will deliver a good result for us after the last chequered flag in Brazil. Hopefully the dice will fall in our favour then.
Q: Coming back to the immediate future and this race weekend, what are your hopes - and what is realistic?
AS: As I just said, we are in pretty good shape at the moment so I expect to deliver a result that will bring us even closer to the guys ahead of us. I do think that Renault will be able to do better than what they showed in Singapore - and I also think that Sauber will be able to make amends for their recent performances but, hey, we are pretty quick nowadays and will not allow anybody to put us over a barrel! (laughs)
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