Wednesday, September 28, 2011

F1: Sutil eyes sixth spot for Force India

Racing cars

Racing cars

Adrian Sutil

Adrian Sutil

Adrian Sutil

MUMBAI: Force India driver Adrian Sutil said he was eyeing a top 10 finish for himself and a top six finish for the team in the upcoming Formula One season which begins in Melbourne on March 27.

"We had a good season last year. I want to improve myself. Individually, I would like to finish in the top 10 and as a team at least in the sixth position. It's not easy but what is easy in life," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event on Saturday.

"Last year we tried our best to end in the sixth position, but missed out by just one point. We were unlucky of course. We had a strong beginning but towards the end began to have problems. This year we want to be more consistent," added the German, who is into his fifth season with the Silverstone-based Force India outfit.

Sutil, flanked by team-mates Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg, said the team's car, though, needed some improvement going into the 2011-12 season.

"We had a new system in the car and that made a difference also. We had new tyres as well. The general baseline is good. We don't have too much general under fuel or over fuel problems. We need to concentrate on the downforce area. We need to work on it a little bit," he said.

"We have a partnership with McLaren and engines from Mercedes. That's a good combination," he added.

To a query on the new turbo engine rules (that pave the way for small four-cylinder engines) to be implemented from 2013, Sutil said, "Every year, we have new rules. Sometimes you think as a driver there are too many. All engines are going green. So, we have to look after our planet as well. The cars will still be fast."

Commenting on the Pirelli tyres that will be used from this season onwards, and which have been criticised by F1 champions like Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel for degrading too fast, Sutil said the tyres will make the game more exciting.

"They don't last long. It was introduced that way by Pirelli. Bridgestone (the earlier used tyres) was good and sometimes lasted the whole race. We want to have more pitstops anyway."

However, he added that the unpredictability of the tyres would be bit difficult to adjust for the drivers.

Asked about the testing sessions earlier this year, Di Resta said it was nice to get a feel of the car that he will be driving for the rest of the season.

"It was an official F1 test. It's nice to get a feel of it. The car seems reliable, we got valuable information on where to develop it in the future," he said.

On whether Force India's drivers would fulfill team owner Vijay Mallya's wish of finishing at the podium during India's first Grand Prix at Noida later this year, he said, "It's like any challenge Vijay has. We have to be realistic. We want to do well at not only this race but all the races.

"But we have a lot of challenges. We have a big task ahead of us to try and do well to improve the car as much as possible before coming here. There are a lot of preparations. We would like to be ahead in the grid when we come here."

"For India, it (the Indian Grand Prix) would be a big weekend, a new culture to follow. It would be another home Grand Prix for the team, the first being Britain because the team is based there," he added.

Asked about seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher's comeback to Formula 1, Hulkenberg said the German's unsuccessful return last year may have taken some shine off his days from Ferrari.

"Michael was the king of Formula One. Last year his image wasn't destroyed but he wasn't as successful as people would have expected him to. Mercedes (his car) wasn't too good (for him). His teammate Nico Roseberg was ahead of him in most of the races. His first aim should be to finish ahead of Nico and then target podium finishes.

"He is coming after three years which is a long time in Formula One. The shine of Schumacher from Ferrari may have been lost due to last year's performance but who knows, he may bounce back next year." Copyright @ 2011 - Theme by NanLimo - Thanks to Google