Adrian Sutil Q&A: Monaco is always special for me 01 Jun 2011
Force Indias Adrian Sutil and the Monaco Grand Prix seem to be a well-matched pair. Back in 2008 Sutil had made it from 18th on the grid to fourth place when a coming together with Kimi Raikkonen robbed him of a dream result. Last season a great start saw him spring from 12th at the start to eighth at the flag, whilst this weekend he took his first points in five races with his seventh-place finish from 14th on the grid. Sutil exclusively reviews his Monte Carlo race
Q: Adrian, you must be celebrating your six points from the Monaco race. Is it relief to make headlines on track rather than off track?
Adrian Sutil: It was a great race for me and very exciting. It has been a difficult time so far this season, so it is a good feeling to have a good result again and to focus on sport.
Q: You always seem to do well in Monaco. Why do you think that is?
AS: Monaco is one of my favourite circuits. I have good memories of my performances here, even if they unfortunately didnt always transform into results, like in 2008 when I lost a sure fire fourth place when Kimi Raikkonen pushed me off the track. This place is always a big challenge to race at. Your concentration level has to be at 120 percent all the time. As we all know, and have seen very often, in Monaco everything is possible. That was my attitude for the weekend. After qualifying, it didn't look too good, but I knew with a good strategy and a bit of luck it would still be possible to score points. To race again in fourth position for so long during the race and then finish the race in P7 is fantastic. Indeed the whole weekend was very special.
Q: And why does the Force India car always do so well here? Is it a bit of diva and only likes to perform to its fullest in front of the biggest audience of the season and in the most glamorous place?
AS: (laughs) Yes, it almost seems so. Monaco is one of the most important races in the year. Performing well there is so important. Maybe it's just a good place for me and Force India. It's also a place where you have to take a risk sometimes to make a difference. It's a combination of many things and it looks like we just handle it well.
Q: Can you review your race for us? It looked like you might score even more points for a long while
AS: I was trying to do a one-stop race. I knew it was going to be hard to make the tyres last for so long. After my first stop I was running fourth. But 20 laps after that pit stop I could feel that my tyres probably wouldnt last that long. I lost one position due to that and was fifth. It became clear that I needed one more pit stop, and although it wasnt perfect or planned, I could still score some okay points. After my little kiss with the wall at the Tabac corner, I had a puncture and was extremely lucky to get into the pits straight away to change my tyres again. So I did not lose too many positions. Then the safety car came out and actually the race was red flagged. After the restart I gained one more position and so I finished seventh. A great result for me and the team!
Q: Whats your take on the incident leading up to red flag? McLarens Lewis Hamilton suggested you may have been one of the causes of it
AS: I was struggling with my tyres and I lost my rear end into the Tabac corner and touched the wall. I had a puncture and tried to stay on the circuit and drive back to the pits to change my tyres. I didnt really see what happened behind.
Q: Do you think you should be allowed to change tyres whilst waiting for a restart following red flags? There seems to be some discussion...
AS: I didnt directly benefit from it because I changed my tyres before the red flag. A few other cars did benefit a lot because they actually got a free pit stop. I think its a good idea to have a look at that rule.
Q: We saw a fair few pit-stop mistakes over the weekend. Why was that do you think? Why is the pit lane in Monaco so tricky?
AS: The pit lane is very narrow so it's hard to position the cars perfectly for your pit stop, which makes it harder for the mechanics to be precise. For the driver it's also challenging because you have to watch out for unexpected things.
Q: Next stop on the Formula One calendar is Montreal. Its a completely different track to Monaco, what are your expectations?
AS: I am looking forward to going to Montreal. Its also a very nice race weekend. The track should suit the car very well, so I think we can have another good result there. Fingers crossed!
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