Force India racer believes points were lost
After qualifying seventh in the much-improved Force India Mercedes, Adrian Sutil ran as high as second ahead of his first stop in Sunday’s German Grand Prix.
Exiting the pits, it was a race between the Force India driver
and Kimi Raikkonen
into the first turn but two into one doesn’t always go and Sutil was forced back to the pits with damage to the left hand side of his front wing.
“It was the best position I'd ever been in in F1 and it felt really good,” Sutil explained with reference to pitting from second position. “It just gave me even more happiness and even more power in the car. I was so happy and enjoying it so much.”
Of course with the position relinquished to make the stop, Sutil looked set to battle with the 2007 champion during the second stint of the race.
“I knew he was there as my engineer Brad had told me to watch the white line (exiting the pits) and that he was coming when I was on the way out of the pitlane.
“I entered the corner first. Kimi tried on the outside, which was okay,” he continued. “But there was plenty more space - he could have gone to the side, because I was on new tyres and it was really slippery. I couldn't have made any crazy moves, otherwise I would have lost my car.
“When you see my on-board I took the corner normally, I tried to push to be able to have a good exit, but I was quite limited when I was already on the inside for the braking for turn one. If I didn't try to accelerate out of the corner it's not racing any more, I might well have just waved him by and said come on, pass me please! You have to defend your position.”
With the Force India and Ferrari making light contact at the exit of the first turn, it was Sutil’s car that sustained the damage. The German racer accepts that it was a racing incident but a potential points paying finish had been lost.
“We spoke about it, and everybody agreed it's a race incident,” Sutil said. “It's a shame as at the time I was just behind Massa, who went on to finish third. Obviously some drivers made good progress in the second half of the race, so I think seventh or eighth position would have been possible. I think points, definitely…”
Sutil and the team hope for a little more luck next time out in Hungary as the team continue their quest for their first points of the season.