Adrian Sutil Q&A: Now we can only wait on Force India decision 21 Feb 2013
Thursday at Barcelonas Circuit de Catalunya saw Adrian Sutil back in a Formula One car for the first time since November 2011, as he looks to reclaim the Force India race seat he lost to Nico Hulkenberg. Sutil knows that whether the team choose him or their 2012 reserve Jules Bianchi to partner Paul di Resta this season will be down to more than just pace, but after some impressive times from his 78 laps the German feels hes done all he can, as he explained exclusively to Formula1.com
Q: Adrian, after 452 days away you are back in the cockpit again: what does that mean to you?
Adrian Sutil: Oh boy, it feels great to be back. It is so much fun and I never would have imagined that Id miss all that so much.
Q: What does it mean to be back at Force India: almost nobody knows the team like you do
AS: That's very true. I've spent six years with this team including the year as a test driver. They gave me the chance to come into F1 in 2007 and they gave me the chance to come back for this test. I'm very thankful for this possibility and I just wish that it goes on - and on and on.
Q: No problems at all getting back into the swing of things?
AS: No, I'm trained well and I'm very motivated - but also relaxed at the same time.
Q: A full day of testing requires excellent physical conditioning. How long have you been back in training for - or have you never actually stopped?
AS: I never stopped training because deep down I always believed in coming back.
Q: What has changed on the car since you last drove it?
AS: The team had a very strong finish last season. As I did not drive last years car it's hard to compare for me. But I'm convinced that Sahara Force India will also have a strong and competitive package for this season and my hope, of course, is that I can be with them to prove it. (laughs)
Q: After some hiccups in the first two hours where you aborted your running after each lap, things went pretty smoothly for you. Were you surprised at how easily you were able to slip back into things?
AS: I had hoped it would be that way. Racing was my business for many years and you dont lose that - look at Kimi Raikkonen. I started slowly because I wanted to get in the best possible position - and from there it worked. I was doing a good programme, even going out with low fuel. Sure, the tyres need getting used to, but that is just a matter of time - not a serious issue to get a headache over.
Q: Your hopes were always high that there would be a chance for you to join Force India again: how are the chances right now?
AS: Lets wait and see in the next couple of days. My manager and I did all we can to make the decision easy for the team. Now we can only wait and cross our fingers.
Q: What are the biggest obstacles? The press rumours would have it that it is a question of engines: you and Mercedes or Jules Bianchi and Ferrari
AS: Ha, this is Formula One so it is natural that there are so many rumours around. To be honest I focus on driving. My relationship with Mercedes has always been good and hopefully they are heavily interested in having me in the car this season.
Q: The season opener in Melbourne is three weeks away - how much longer can Force India hold off on their decision?
AS: My understanding is that the test next week in Barcelona will definitely feature both drivers from Force Indias 2013 driver line-up.
Q: Should you be the lucky one, whats on your agenda before Australia? More training, more simulator work?
AS: Business as usual - training and staying positive!
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