“Our pace shouldn’t be too bad”
Adrian Sutil and Force India picked up an excellent seventh place in Monaco after a good strategy call saw him running as high as fourth for a long time.
In the end it proved impossible to make the supersoft tyres last more than 40 laps,
but Adrian still managed to bring the car home in a strong position. Now we head to Montreal, another race where tyres and safety cars – and possibly bad weather – can all play a part. We asked Adrian for his thoughts on Canada and his great drive in Monaco last weekend.
Are you looking forward to going to Montreal next week?
“It’s one of the good circuits in the calendar and I really enjoy the whole weekend there. It’s a nice city and a nice place to go, and also a kind of street circuit. So there’s always something possible in the race and the chance of a safety car. And with these tyres this year we might get even more pit stops than we had in 2010. Last year we already had two or three, and maybe it’s even more this year. It’s going to be quite an interesting race with the long straight and DRS. There will be a lot of possibilities to pass and make a difference.”
Before Monaco many people thought the supersoft tyre would only last a few laps, but that was not the case. Do you think the situation will be different in Montreal?
“Normally the circuit is quite hard on the tyres. With the Bridgestone, Canada was a problem because they never lasted so well. It was quite easy to grain them up from the acceleration out of all the hairpins and chicanes. I think it depends on that. If we have a little graining issue on the tyres it might be really tricky, and we’ll need a lot of pit stops. But if not, then I think it could be similar to Monaco. But we don’t really know what to expect.”
You mentioned the DRS. The last chicane has always been a pretty good passing place, so with the DRS will it be very easy?
“It could be a little bit too easy! Normally it was not too difficult to pass in Canada – there were plenty of possibilities during a race to get a slipstream and try to overtake the other guy, so with the DRS it will probably be even easier. I think we reach about 325-330km/h on that straight, and when you activate DRS, you gain a lot, because of the high drag you normally have. Let’s see. I hope it’s not as it was in Turkey, because it was too easy, you didn’t really fight for the position, you just passed and you knew you could get your position back in the next few laps. It’s not real fighting. Hopefully we’ll have a little bit more to do in the race.”
There’s a second DRS zone in the race on the pit straight. Will that be a good passing place?
“Normally you try after the long straight into the last corner, but into the first corner, there’s also a little possibility. There is a little right kink in there, which is flat, so you can just try to brake late and drive a little bit more straight into the first corner and try overtaking. Sometimes you try at the last corner and maybe you don’t succeed or someone has to shortcut through the chicane, then they go side by side into the first corner. Then it might be possible.”
We know there’s a good chance of safety cars and possibly even rain. Do you see Canada as a real opportunity for the team to score points?
“I think so. It was good that we finally scored some really good points in Monaco, and Canada is one of the circuits where you can have a strong race and a good strategy and suddenly you find yourself somewhere near the front. Our advantage is that we have a very fast car in a straight line and it’s important for that circuit. In general I think our pace shouldn’t be too bad. Looking also to last year, we were very competitive on this circuit.”
You mentioned Monaco. You gambled on one stop and a long stint to the flag on the supersofts. You were fourth for a long time and finally finished seventh. Overall were you pleased with the weekend?
“Of course! It looked for a while as if I was in fourth position, and that’s where you want to end up. I knew the race was long with the supersoft tyre, and there was just no way to make them last for me. I think with 20 laps to go I could see I was going to have problems, and I wouldn’t be able to hold my fourth position. I lost some places, and on that lap where I went a bit off line and clipped the wall, I was going to pit anyway, so I didn’t lose too much. That’s why I wasn’t disappointed at all. Seventh was a great result. We tried a one-stop, which was very brave. For some reason Kobayashi managed to do it, although he was probably also lucky with the red flag and got a free pit stop and put new tyres on. I’m just happy about the seventh place. I don’t look back to the fourth position and think maybe it would have been possible.”
Would you have been better off if you’d started on the supersofts and tried a long stint on softs?
“That’s what Paul tried. He did the opposite; we wanted to cover both strategies, and he managed to do only 20 laps on these tyres with a heavy car. So it shows I did the right thing, and it worked out quite well for us.”
We saw several major crashes this year. Do you have any thoughts on improving safety in Monaco?
“There is a bump at the braking zone into the harbour chicane. It has been there for many years. Kimi Raikkonen
had this problem there when I was fourth in 2008, and he lost his car. I don’t know if it was worse than in other years, but maybe the grip level was a bit lower for us this year with the tyres, and that’s why it was a bit trickier. Of course it’s a tricky circuit, a challenging circuit, and there are some places where you just have to take care. For me it was not such a problem, you knew there was a bump and you couldn’t really attack the brakes as you wanted to. That’s the difficult thing in Monaco, and I like this kind of thing. But of course the run-off area we have to think about, because this barrier Perez crashed into is quite dangerous, and maybe they can change something there to avoid those sorts of crashes, maybe with a better angle, so it’s not so dangerous.”