Tag Archives: Sutil

Sutil ‘still working’ with Sauber to resolve issues

 

formula-1-grand-prix-seat-fitting-adrian-sutil-sauber_3062833Reports have surfaced this week that former Sauber driver and Williams’ current reserve driver Adrian Sutil and his management are still working with the Sauber team to ‘resolve the problem’ regarding their driver line ups for this season.

Sutil and his former team mate Esteban Gutierrez were replaced this season in favour of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson despite signing both of them and also former test driver Gideo van der Garde for this season too.

While Gutierrez has signed for Ferrari as a reserve driver this season, van der Garde took legal action against the Sauber team in an Australian Supreme Court in March which he won but later decided to give up legally ‘for the good of the team.’

This week has saw van der Garde stating that he is not interested in F1 anymore despite being approached by Manor F1 for a drive and instead wants to concentrate on driving in DTM or LMP1 for 2016.

Meanwhile, Sutil has signed for Williams as a test driver this season and taking over the role ironically from Nasr. But it would seem that Sutil still wants his case to be sorted using the proper and right legal channels and out of the public spotlight.

And you can understand why after everything with van der Garde why Sutil believes this approach is the best one for him. Despite my thoughts on him as a driver; it is clear that Sutil has a legal case with Sauber and I hope he receives the best possible outcome as a result.

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Sutil: I still want to talk to Sauber

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In the Brazilian Grand Prix Press Conference today, Sauber driver Adrian Sutil has revealed there are “certain things to talk about” with Sauber after learning that there is no place for him at the team next season.

Earlier this week, Sauber concluded their driver line-up for 2015 when they announced that Felipe Nasr would partner Marcus Ericsson. Both drivers bring with them millions in sponsorship from Brazil and Sweden respectively.

The announcement brings to an end Sutil’s time with the team despite the German, who has yet to score this season, only being midway through a two-year contract.

In the Brazilian Grand Prix Press Conference today, Sutil though, has cast doubt over whether Nasr and Ericsson will race for Sauber and also whether the team will even be on the grid in 2015. Sutil stated the following:-

From what Sutil has stated today, it is clear that he feels that there is unfinished business with Sauber in regards to his two year contract with the team. Even though he understands that Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr have been confirmed as drivers for 205, he feels that things with Sauber are not what they appear to be.

It would seem that Sutil believes Sauber’s announcement will not change how he approaches the race this weekend and will be focusing with his management to sort out the issues that he feels he needs to bring to the team’s attention regarding his contract status.

When asked further in the press conference as for whether he now has a future in F1, Sutil added the following:-

‘I don’t know. I will see what is possible, what I want. There are quite a few things to sort out and I cannot really say more at the moment.’

There is no question that Sutil will have been disappointed not to have been retained for 2015 by Sauber. But all he can do now is ensure that he looks at all the possible options that are available to him and he raises and sorts out the issues that he feels concerned about regarding his contract with Sauber.

But overall, many pundits and fans knew that Sutil would not be retained for 2015 with Sauber. As I have argued previously, Sutil was very lucky to have to secured the drive with Sauber for this season especially after being outperformed by his former teammate Paul di Resta at Force India in 2013.

But this season even though he hasn’t had the car underneath him, Sutil for me hasn’t performed very well. Even though he did a super job in Austin last weekend, I feel that this performance has come too late and Sauber have taken the decision to terminate his contract for next season.

I do believe that Sutil has been given plenty of chances to shine in Formula One. He has done the best that he could do in his career and I feel now is the time for him to consider other options and achieve success elsewhere after the issues with Sauber have been sorted out to both parties satisfaction before it is too late for him.

Sutil left to rue a lost opportunity for points

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Yesterday in an interview with the media, Sauber driver Adrian Sutil was left to lament what could have been after being taken out of Sunday’s US GP while inside the top ten.

Having made it into the final qualifying shoot-out at the Circuit of the Americas for the first time this season, Sauber were hoping to finally score a point or two in the Championship. It was not to be.

While Sutil was P8 after the first lap, Sutil was taken out of the grand prix by Sergio Perez as the Mexican racer smacked into the side of his C33. With debris all over the track, the Safety Car was brought out. However, the damage to Sutil’s car was too severe for him to even limp back to the pits for repairs.

In his interview with the media yesterday, Sutil is disappointed that the incident between him and Perez

‘Unfortunately, it was a short race. I had a good start and was in a promising position. Sadly Sergio crashed into my car, which was completely needless.It is very disappointing that we missed our biggest chance of points because of this move.’

It is clear that Sutil lost his chance of scoring points yesterday in the race and he was in a good position on track when the incident occurred on track. I would agree with Sutil that Perez shouldn’t have crashed into his car. But Perez went into the corner too deep and hit Sutil and also Raikkonen too and has now been punished with a seven grid place penalty at the Brazilian Grand Prix as a result of this incident.

But overall, Sutil has a right to be disappointed with what happened in the race yesterday. Through no fault of his own, Sutil was taken out of the race and lost a great chance of securing his and Sauber’s first points of the season. And that is a shame for Sauber who need the points so desperately.

But despite that, Sutil showed that if he has the car underneath him, he can deliver and needs to use this as motivation for the final two races of the season and see if he can score points. But I do feel that it will be difficult for Sutil and Sauber but they have to give it everything they have at their disposal to try and achieve this, they really do.

Sutil: P10 is crucial for motivation to get points

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Yesterday in an interview with the media, Sauber driver Adrian Sutil believes that his P10 in qualifying for the United States Grand Prix will be “crucial for the motivation” as the team chases their first points after progressing to Q3 for the first time this season.

This season has been a trying one for Sauber who, with three races remaining, are down in tenth place in the Championship. The team is one of only two, the other being Caterham, who has yet to score a single World Championship point.

In his interview with the media yesterday, Sutil though is hoping to put that right this Sunday having qualified his C33 inside the top ten. Sutil stated the following:-

‘It was a great qualifying. In the morning we had a good free practice, and I felt comfortable with the car. The air and track temperatures went up a little in comparison to the morning, but the balance of the car was still good.

‘We put in a great performance today, and we deserved to make it into Q3 for the first time this year. The entire team did a great job. I am pleased for everyone within the team as, especially in our current situation, this is an important result which is crucial for the motivation.’

As Sutil says himself, it was a great qualifying for him and the Sauber team yesterday. It appears that Sutil was comfortable with the car and was able to extract the pace and performance yesterday that surprised most of us when he managed to gain tenth place.

I would have to agree with him however and they did deserve to get into Q3 yesterday after a disappointing season for them. With Sutil thanking the team publically for their hard work is really nice to see and this will ultimately push them for the race today to try and secure their first points of the season.

If Sutil today is able to keep on performing the way he has been this weekend, this could be the one of the best chances for him and Sauber to acquire some points this season that are much needed and would be much welcomed as Sutil has stated in his interview yesterday.

Question is; can Sutil score Sauber’s first points of the season today in Austin? I’m really unsure if he can but he has to give it everything he can.

Sutil: I’m happy with my career in Formula One

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In an interview with the media earlier this week, Sauber driver Adrian Sutil has stated that despite having never reached the podium, Sutil says he is “quite happy” with his Formula 1 career.

Lining up on the Formula 1 grid for the first time in 2007, Sutil has gone on to contest 120 grands prix. Sutil though has yet to reach the podium. That means Sutil now holds the record for most grands prix starts without a top-three result to his name.

But despite the dubious record, which is all likelihood will continue in what is proving to be a wretched season for Sauber, he says he has no complaints. In his interview earlier this week, Sutil said the following on the subject of his career in the sport:-

‘I have everything in my hands and I’m quite happy. There are several drivers who have not done as many grands prix as me and they have won races. What would you say about their situation when they are dropped from Formula 1, probably forever? They’ve won a race and they are in a more unlucky situation than I am? Who knows? Sometimes results for me have not been too good, but you have to do your best.

‘Sometimes you deliver your best performance when you finish 13th, which might be better than the times I finished fifth for Force India, but nobody will realise this. I know, and this is most important. There are drivers who make mistakes and end up on the podium. It’s a tricky situation in Formula 1 when there is a car involved, which has to be fast as well, so things aren’t balanced.’

My first thoughts on what Sutil has said was that I would agree that even though I feel he shouldn’t have been in Formula One this season, he has done what he can within the sport since entering in 2007. As he points out, a few drivers who have entered the sport the same time as him may have gone on to greater things such as Hamilton winning the title in 2008, but he did what he could with what he has been given.

From what Sutil has said about his career in the sport, I feel that he has enough chances in the sport to show what he can do. Sutil does have a valid point that some drivers make mistakes and end up achieving a podium, but the fact is that they get themselves into a position on the track to achieve this and Sutil hasn’t been able to do the same.

Sutil’s best result was a fourth-placed finish at the 2009 Italian Grand Prix. But further on in his interview he added that he has done his career for himself and no one else. Sutil added the following:-

‘I do things for myself, I’m not doing it to show the world how impressive I am, it doesn’t really matter. I do it because I like it. When I do a perfect lap with the car I have, then I am happy. If I don’t do it, I’m not happy and will work harder to succeed.

‘I do it because it’s my passion and it doesn’t matter what other people think. I enjoy it even if I am outside the top 10. It would be great to be World Champion and to win races – this is something that can happen, but then again, maybe not. It’s not something that is fully in my hands. What is in my hands right now is being able to be a good driver and this is what my goal is: to be a consistent driver who doesn’t do mistakes and performs well under any situation.’

As with any racing driver, they wish to drive as a career for themselves and also for the thrill and excitement that it provides them along the way as Sutil points out. Sutil does make a valid point that he is happy if he able to extract the best performance possible and is unhappy if he cannot do so, but racing is in his blood and that is what every driver will be looking to achieve.

But the fact of the matter is that your performances in the car weekend in, weekend out are the focus of how to get into and stay into Formula One and for that, it would appear that Sutil has been able to do this and stay in the sport for as long as he has. But if the opportunity comes to deliver, then drivers such as Sutil have to take it and I feel that he hasn’t been able to do so in his career.

Can Sutil be happy with his career in Formula One? If I was Sutil, I wouldn’t be happy at all. As at the end of the day, every driver wants to win races, be on the podium and ultimately become world champion. And I just feel that Sutil will in a few years regret what he has in the media this week.

But as Sutil has stated, all he can do for the remainder of the season is demonstrate how consistent he is and achieve the best result possible for Sauber in order to keep his seat in the sport for next year. But I do firmly believe that Sutil has had his chances in Formula One, has failed to deliver and is more than likely to be leaving the sport at the end of the year.

But can Sutil hold onto his seat at Sauber for 2015? Only time will tell.

 

Sutil: We need more testing in a F1 car

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Late last week in an interview with ESPN F1, Sauber driver Adrian Sutil believes “it’s a bit weird” that he spends more time on his PlayStation than he does testing a Formula 1 car.

This year in-season testing returned to F1 with four in-season tests, each lasting two days. It is, however, by no means the amount of running drivers had in days gone by.

Next season those four in-season tests will be reduced to just two while in 2016, pre-season action will also be cut from three four-day outings to only two. In an interview with ESPN F1 last week, Sutil believes that the drivers should be able to drive more on the circuit. Sutil stated the following:-

‘We spend more time in the simulator – well not me, I spend time on my PlayStation!” This is what I get paid for, it’s half of my time, so it’s a bit weird. You should drive more.

‘I remember when we had tyre testing, we had so many new sets and compounds to evaluate and so more material. It was more expensive but for a driver it was really, really nice.’

Even though I understand that it would be great to see what Sutil has said, which is drivers on the track and using that time to do say for example tyre work or testing out upgrades, it is sadly not feasible anymore for the sport to go back to this way. With most of the teams having a simulator that really is life-like and gives them the opportunity to do this work still, of course it will not beat the real thing.

But if that is less cost to the teams than actually going out onto the track and doing the work, then that is what they will do in order to save on costs. I would agree with Sutil and I agree it would be nice to see the drivers doing this work on the track, but with the economic climate, many teams on the grid may not be able to do this.

‘I still enjoy it. There are changes over the years; some you like, some you don’t like. But from a driver point of view you are most happy when you drive and you can test and get to know the car really well.

‘It’s quite difficult in Formula One right now especially after the winter test; you have three or four days with these kind of cars and then you have to deliver. Then you make mistakes in the race and you are not good enough, so it’s a tricky situation – it would be nice to drive more.’

As Sutil points out, we’ve seen many changes to the sport over the past few years, some that have been great and some not so great. But the main thing is despite this is that drivers such as Sutil still want to be in the sport and want to race as best as they can.

I understand that if you can get the opportunity to test, not only does it benefit the driver, it benefits the team too. And this valuable data that is gained from doing work like this either on the track or in the simulator will only help them extract more pace and performance from their car.

As Sutil points out, we’ve seen many changes to the sport over the past few years, some that have been great and some not so great. But the main thing is despite this is that drivers such as Sutil still want to be in the sport and want to race as best as they can.

I understand that if you can get the opportunity to test, not only does it benefit the driver, it benefits the team too. And this valuable data that is gained from doing work like this either on the track or in the simulator will only help them extract more pace and performance from their car.

With the current situation we have now, Sutil makes a valid point. You do only get three or four days with the car during the testing period and then you have to go on track and deliver. And if you don’t deliver as Sutil says, this could make things tricky. But just like with anything, you have to do the best with what you have in terms of the car you have been given and also the best with the ability that you have too.

In the latter stages of his interview, Sutil believes that with experienced drivers such as himself finding the situation trying, he reckons it can only be worse for the sport’s newcomers. Sutil stated the following:-

‘Especially for a rookie, I don’t think it’s the right way. Sometimes I don’t think you then have the strongest driver, or at least where they should be.

‘If you make one mistake this is it, no other chances, but maybe you just had a wrong day. It’s very hard to know where you are because one little mistake and this is the measurement for everyone, but maybe the next day you would do it a little different and a lot faster.’

I would agree with Sutil that maybe more testing could be included into the sport, but with the economic climate, I don’t see this changing. Everyone would love to see this happen and it could help young rookies get more experience and time in the car before the start of a season, but let us not forget that the simulator is there to help the drivers too, even if it’s not the same as being on an actual track.

You may agree or disagree with what Sutil has stated above, but the fact of the matter is that the way Formula One operates with testing is not going to change anytime soon. It does seem harsh that if a driver makes one mistake, then that’s it. But does improve in the next session but still remembered for that one mistake. But that is the chance that any driver takes when driving in Formula One.

Formula One is the pinnacle of motorsport. You have to prove yourself to get to it and you further have to shown year upon year until you leave the sport that you still have what it takes to perform and perform well. If you can do that, you’ll have a long future in the sport. If you can’t, then you will be shown the door.

Do I see Sutil’s suggestion of more testing being implemented into the sport soon? I really don’t think so. With the current system in place, all you can do as a driver is from the word ‘go’ give your all, show what you can do and hope amongst hope that you can stay in the sport for as long as you possibly can.

Sutil: I will be staying with Sauber for the rest of the season

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Yesterday in an interview with Sky Sports F1, Sauber driver Adrian Sutil insists he will stay at Sauber for the rest of the season, despite rumours suggesting that reserve driver Giedo van der Garde will step up in his place.

Both Sutil and his team-mate Esteban Gutierrez have yet to score a point in what has so far proved a dismal 2014 for the Sauber team. Although Guiterrez’s future in the sport appears to be more secure since the return of the Mexican GP was confirmed on Wednesday and also he has backing from communications giant Telmex.

However, question marks are surrounding Sutil still. Former Caterham driver Gideo Van der Garde has made five practice appearances for Sauber so far this season and is said to have around €15million worth of backing from clothing brand McGregor.

In his interview with Sky Sports F1 yesterday, Sutil not happy when asked about his drive within the Sauber team for this season and he also pointed out that it’s not the first time his future has been open to speculation. Sutil said the following:-

‘I think half of my career they said ‘Adrian is out’. I’m still here; it’s my 120th grand prix. Any more questions? I’ll be here for much longer so sorry, but you’ll have to live with my face.

‘This is not the truth. You can ask me – I’ll give you the right answer. It’s from some person out there which is bored or whatever. I don’t know their problems but we are good here and the team is holding together in these times. This is no problem and we will try and get out of this difficult situation and then I’m sure you can also write some good stuff or whatever.’

From what Sutil has said in his interview yesterday, it is clear that he is unhappy with the subject being raised and you can understand why he feels that way. He is a racing driver and this is his job but also his passion too. But I feel that the way he has expressed himself is not the correct way to have answered that question.

I can understand why Sutil is frustrated with the rumour circulating about himself but he has come across as arrogant and rude to me personally and has not shown himself in a good light. But it would seem that Sutil despite the problems that Sauber are experiencing at the moment, he seems confident in his abilities to help the team improve as much as possible for the rest of the season.

Sutil’s comments about his future within the team appear to have been backed up by Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn who stated the following to the media yesterday:-

‘I just learned today that apparently someone is talking about it – but definitely not myself or anyone at Sauber. We’ve announced our drivers with the functions they have and in the unlikely event – and we really hope anything doesn’t happen to our two race drivers – he would be the one to step in. Only if something unexpected happened, then he would step in.’

From what Kalenborn has stated, it would appear that Sauber are happy with Sutil remaining in the team for the rest of the season and has the support behind him. She has also made clear that if anything were to happen to either driver (hopefully nothing does), that is when the team will be forced to change their line up.

Further on in his interview yesterday, Sutil’s optimism was also reflected in his comments about Sauber’s performance at the German GP which he said was better than at previous races. Although he spun out of the race on lap 47, Sutil said in his interview that the fact he had raced the likes of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, the Toro Rossos of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat and Serio Perez’s Force India on the fringes of the top ten showed that their pace had improved. Sutil added the following:-

‘It was quite encouraging to have the last race at Hockenheim; we were much closer and finally we could fight again against better teams. If you look at it optimistically, there was a little chance for a point. It was much better and the whole weekend in general, we were much closer to the top ten. So I expect a better final half of the season.’

From his performance at Hockenheim, it would appear that Sauber are making slight improvements to their car. And it is great to see Sauber taking steps and showing that they are slowly going in the right direction but they still have a lot of work to do to close the gap to the rest of the field.

I just feel that the gap Sauber would need to close is just too significant for them and they just need to close up as much as they possibly can for the remainder of the season and look towards their 2015 car and learn as much as possible from this season.

In regards to what Sutil has said yesterday regarding his drive with Sauber until the end of the season, it looks like he will be staying for the duration of the season despite me arguing many times that he could be going mid season. And I do still stand by this.

As the end of the day, Sauber haven’t provided with the car to do anything, I grant you that. But Sutil has not done anything in my opinion to show that he is worthy of the drive and I feel his chance in Formula One has been and gone. He has been given so many chances and has failed to deliver the high standard that he expects of himself and what the sport need from him in order to stay for the near future,

If Sutil is staying with Sauber until the end of the season, he must give it everything he has and get the best results that he possibly can and use his experience to help Sauber improve as much as possible. But I do feel that 2014 will be his last season in the sport.

Sutil has had his chances (more than other drivers who have had to leave the sport) and he has failed to deliver. I feel the time is right for him to leave the sport, to bow out gracefully and to allow drivers such as Van der Garde the opportunity to see what they can do in Formula One. After all, Van der Garde is the future and for me Sutil is now a driver of the past, and if anything Sauber need new blood in order to survive, to get back to competitive ways and they need to do it quickly.