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Exclusive Q&A with Adrian Sutil: Podiums the target with Sauber 18 Dec 2013

Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 at the Amber Lounge Fashion Show.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Friday, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 24 May 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Monza, Italy, Saturday, 7 September 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One Young Drivers Test, Silverstone, England, Day Three, Friday, 19 July 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Thursday, 23 May 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Indian Grand Prix, Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida, New Delhi, India, Preparations, Thursday, 24 October 2013

Having spent his entire Formula One career to date with the Silverstone-based Force India and Spyker teams, Adrian Sutil will get to experience life inside another outfit in 2014 having made an off-season switch to Sauber. With the ink on his new contract barely dry, we caught up with the 30-year-old German to discuss the move, his hopes for next season and why visiting the Swiss team’s factory will be significantly more convenient for him…

Q: Adrian, your whole F1 career to date has been spent with the same team - was it about time to make a change?
Adrian Sutil:
Yes, I felt that it was time for a change and we worked hard for it for months to make it happen. It will be an interesting experience to see how another team goes about things.

Q: You were always been confident of staying in Formula One. Were you negotiating with Sauber before Force India announced their decision to take on Sergio Perez or did the deal come about at the last minute?
No, we were in contact for a long time. As I just said, it had been my wish to have a change after six good years with Force India - and Sauber was my priority. My Manager has been in contact with them since autumn - and around that time I visited the factory in Hinwil for the first time.

Q: After many years with Force India, with what feelings are you leaving?
I have had a good and successful time with Force India. They gave me the chance to come back - and this fact will always have a special place in my heart! For sure I will miss some of the guys there that have turned into friends over the years, but now I’m excited to be with my new team. Let’s see if it is true that new brooms sweep clean! (laughs)

Q: What do you expect from Sauber? They finished 2013 on a high but that doesn’t mean too much with all the changes coming along in 2014…
I’m convinced that we will have a successful time - and I’m looking very much forward to my first podium! Sauber have had some podiums in the past and that is exactly what I want.

Q: You have witnessed the 2014 developments at Force India and now you’ve seen how Sauber is going about things. What’s your impression - and where are the differences?
To be honest all I know is that Sauber have already passed the crash test. I haven’t seen more yet and don’t know anything about the 2014 Force India car.

Q: There have been some new measures announced recently: you can now choose your own race number; there are double points at the last race; a pole position trophy has been introduced; and there’s a new penalty system. What’s your opinion on all that?
We have to take it as it comes! It doesn’t make any sense to waste too much time on fruitless discussions when you know that you cannot change things. We will see at the end of the season what has happened with all the changes - then will be the time to discuss sense and nonsense.

Q: Have you already picked your number? And was your favourite number still available? Is there any personal anecdote attached to your number?
Yes, I have picked my number already - and yes, my favourite was available - but it will be a secret until it is official!

Q: So far you are the only driver to be announced at Sauber for 2014. Do you have any preference for your team mate?
To be honest: I don’t care. It should be the best and fastest team mate that is available!

Q: Living in Switzerland and driving for a Swiss team - that sounds pretty convenient - and suggests that you will be a very frequent visitor to the factory. Is that so?
Yes, because it will be an easy one to visit! And the real luxury is that the factory is just an hour’s drive from my home. So I will be there quite often.

Q: What will be on your agenda for the weeks until the Jerez test at the end of January?
I will relax and recharge my batteries, have a nice and peaceful Christmas and then I will start to prepare for next season -and for sure I will spend many days in the factory to get to know everybody and inhale their procedures!

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