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Exclusive Q&A with Force India’s Adrian Sutil 11 Apr 2013

Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 walks the track.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Preparations, Shanghai, China, Thursday, 11 April 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM06 retires from the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 17 March 2013 Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Practice, Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, 22 March 2013 (L to R): Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06 and Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013

Despite retiring from the Malaysian Grand Prix with a technical problem, Force India’s Adrian Sutil arrived in China in good spirits having impressed many with his pace this season following a year on the sidelines in 2012. In the Shanghai paddock he reflected on both his strong form and his hopes for this Sunday's race...

Q: Adrian, have you managed to get over the disappointments of Malaysia yet?
Adrian Sutil:
Oh yes, for sure. If you want to improve as a team you have to go a high risk. And things like this happen…

Q: As there have been three weeks between the races in Malaysia and China, one imagines the issue was examined in depth at the factory. Can you tell us what the findings were?
AS:
Yes, I can. It was a problem with the wheel nut, which is a new one and which should guarantee that our pit stop time improves. The team tested this nut a hundred times without any problems - and in Melbourne it worked super. Only in Malaysia did it become somewhat bedevilled - but it is solved now!

Q: It was a shock to see both cars having to retire because of the same issue and emotions must have run high, but in the evening your team principal, Vijay Mallya, could already laugh about it, saying that it is better to have trouble at one race but also to know that the VJM06 is a fast car. Do you agree?
AS:
Of course I totally agree! (laughs) More important than anything else is the fact that our car is fast. Now we have to keep that momentum - and I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t!

Q: Having a DNF with both cars at the second race and still sitting in P5 in the constructors’ championship with McLaren behind you: what does that tell you about Force India’s performance level?
AS:
We have a strong package and we need to score as many points as possible as long as we are in this position. But we are under no illusions: McLaren will come back. That’s for sure. But this weekend - and Bahrain next week - should be two more races where we can push and fight for good results and points. Everything beyond that we will have to see. So Jenson (Button) and Sergio (Perez) watch out! (laughs)

Q: In what areas would you say that your engineers got it right with the new car? How much does the engine contribute, bearing in mind that McLaren also runs a Mercedes engine?
AS:
The Mercedes engine is a very strong and very reliable engine. With this you are already half way there! Concerning our car, it was very strong in 2012, especially towards the end and our engineers did a great job over the winter to improve it even further. I had a great feeling in this car from the very first lap - and the result in Melbourne showed that.

Q: Red Bull advisor Helmut Marko said that you have been his surprise so far this season. What do you make of that?
AS:
It’s very nice to hear this from Dr. Marko as he has a lot of experience and has seen and worked with many drivers. It is also nice to hear that there are still things that surprise him…

Q: Are you amazed by the fact that after a one year ‘sabbatical’ and very little winter testing you have often been quicker than your team mate, Paul di Resta?
AS:
Yes, to be honest I thought I would need some more time to get into the racing mode again as we have seen in the past that the so called ‘comeback kids’ do need a kind of ‘heating up’ phase. But the team and the strong performance of the car made it very easy for me to immediately switch back on again and deliver such strong performances.

Q: Shanghai must hold very mixed feelings for you as your recent off-track troubles began here in 2011. With what emotions did you arrive here?
AS:
I don’t look back. My focus is on the race. The past is forgotten and at an end - even if you don’t feel it in that very moment, it was a good year with a lot of important experiences that added to my development. As strange as it may sound: maybe I am a better driver now.

Q: Over the past few years we have seen cool conditions in China, similar perhaps to Melbourne. Will this play to your advantage again, even if you don't count the track as one of your favourites?
AS:
If I‘m successful here I will count this track as one of my favourites in the future! (laughs) Yes, looking at it from the outside Shanghai should play to our advantage and with the Malaysia hiccups solved we should be able to fight for a good result and to bag some good points.

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