Monaco GP - Force India Mercedes - Preview
Running fourth a year ago at Monaco, Adrian Sutil looked all set for a dream result in his Ferrari-powered Force India. However exiting the tunnel late in the race, Kimi Raikkonen
lost control of his Ferrari and crashed into the
unfortunate German driver.
Sutil has not scored a point since his Monaco heartbreak but did come close in China this year as he ran sixth before crashing out in the wet conditions.
"Two years ago I was quickest in wet practice and we went even better last year, again in very tricky conditions with rain and a drying circuit," Sutil explained. "I've had two good years in a row, and hopefully I'll have maybe another one now. But it's always up to the conditions to a certain extent."
"When I was in fourth position I was doing fastest laps at that stage in the race, and it was unbelievable," he continued. "Everything came together, we were on a really good strategy, and it was perfect. When it dried it was the right time to change onto slick tyres.
"Everything was 100 percent. Then there was the shock for me and all the team. It was like a dream, or a nightmare actually. You think you're going to wake up, and nothing's happened. It sounds dramatic, but that's how it really was."
Qualifying this year has been especially problematic for the Silverstone-based team and Sutil is hoping that he can break into Q2.
"It could be similar to Bahrain, where we just needed a few hundredths to go into Q2, and I hope to find that on my flying lap in qualifying," he said. "I think this is going to be one of our best opportunities to get into Q2."
Team Principal Vijay Mallya agrees that qualifying will be key at Monte Carlo but dismisses talk that the team are not making progress in race conditions.
"Clearly we have some work to do in qualifying," Mallya said.
"But I would beg to differ about the lack of improvement in the race."
Indeed, last time out in Barcelona, Giancarlo Fisichella
managed to keep the Williams Toyota driven by Kazuki Nakajima behind him for much of the race before an extra stop ruined the Italian veteran's race.
"Giancarlo set the eighth quickest time during the race in Spain, and was competitively racing with BMW, Renault and Williams," Mallya continued. "We might not yet be in a points' scoring position but I am happy with the rate of progress we are making.
"We've always said top ten for the first part of the year and then points if and when possible. This race I think, with the improvements we have and the confidence of our drivers around this circuit, we could very well get into Q2 - that should be the aim for now."
Fisichella agrees with his team boss in admitting that points are going to be very hard to come by, even with a new high-downforce Monaco specification rear wing in place for the weekend.
"If we can qualify better than we have been doing so far, we could get some better results," Fisichella said. "Realistically this year points are going to be difficult particularly if it's dry and overtaking is even more difficult but getting a good result is my target. We have an upgraded aero package that will for sure help us, but the whole race is a lottery so you've got to be lucky too."