Adrian Sutil Q&A: I never doubted myself 08 Sep 2011
Adrian Sutil's 2011 season didn't start well. Outperformed by rookie team mate Paul di Resta and with just two points to show from the opening five races, it was a bleak time for Sutil. Recently, however, things have picked up for the Force India driver, and his sixth-place finish in Germany and seventh-place finish in Belgium have helped keep alive his teams hopes of ending the year fifth in the constructors standing. We spoke exclusively to the German...
Q: Adrian, you had a tough start to the season, but things are looking up. Is the turnaround to do with you, the car or circumstance?
Adrian Sutil: Outsiders might perceive it that way, but the fact is we expected not to be too strong during the first half of the season. We had some development changes during the winter which caused a bit of a go-slow at the beginning of the season. Nevertheless we were always very close to the top 10. And yes, for quite a while now the car has felt much better, which has translated into results. I've also learnt a lot about the tyres. At first, the change to Pirelli tyres was a bit of a problem for me. But - touch wood - I'm feeling much more confident in the car.
Q: Both you and the car seem to favour certain tracks. Spa must be one of your favourites after the last race
AS: I think we have a pretty consistent car. Its equally fast on slow and high-speed circuits. Combine this quality with the right strategy and we are always able to score points. Spa was definitely one of our good races. The right strategy helped us to finish in seventh after starting from P15. It was the maximum we could achieve.
Q: You were criticised for getting outperformed by your rookie team mate Di Resta. But you seem to have fought back successfully
AS: In this sport there is always a lot of criticism and pressure and we all have to cope with it. If you do well, you are the hero. If you dont, youre the zero. It is important not to read everything that is written in the press about you. I am self-confident and had absolutely no doubt that I would get through this difficult time. I'm glad I'm more confident in the car - and it shows.
Q: Force India is fighting with Sauber for P6 in the constructors championship. The former Force India technical director James Key is now with your rival team. Is that why they are three points ahead?
AS: It would be nice to explain everything in such an easy and understandable way. But Formula One is more complex than that. I feel that where we are at the moment is just the beginning. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to clinch fifth in the constructors championship. At the moment we are P7 but I think anything is possible over the next couple of races. We are catching up and weve seen lately that our immediate challengers are experiencing a bit of a drought.
Q: So is catching Sauber the main item on Force Indias agenda?
AS: As I just said, we had a realistic target at the beginning of the season and we are still fighting for it. To beat Sauber is important for us but also Renault are not too far away. Its not going be easy but its possible!
Q: What about your future? A few weeks ago people were muttering you might not keep your cockpit
AS: That's how Formula One is. Its a very fast and furious business. I'm happy at Force India and it would be great to re-sign with them. I'm very motivated for the rest of the season and I will do my very best.
Q: Will the VJM04 continue to perform well?
AS: Yes I think so. We will have another update in Singapore that should help keep this performance level. Good circuits - circuits that should benefit us - are coming up, so I'm sure we will have a strong finish.
Q: The inaugural Indian event is seven weeks away. The team must want to score a good result at their home race
AS: Of course the Indian Grand Prix will be a special weekend for us and of course we want to perform there but we shouldn't put ourselves under too much pressure. Every race is important and we know how to do our best job.
Q: Can you match your German and Belgium results in Monza this weekend?
AS: I think Monza could be a pretty good weekend for us. I have fond memories from 2009 and I like the circuit. Our goal is to score points - with both cars - and to catch up to the other teams in front of us in the standings.
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