Tag Archives: Adrian Sutil

Sutil leaves Williams reserve role

Adrian Sutil will not continue in his role as Williams reserve driver in 2016, a team source has confirmed.

The German always regarded the Williams role as a temporary one as he looked for other opportunities, and it’s understood that he is close to signing a deal outside F1. He is known to be interested in the WEC and DTM, while Japanese Super GT may also appeal. He contested one GT race for TOM’S Toyota in 2006, during his F3 season in Japan.

Sutil was announced at Williams before last year’s Malaysian GP. However, he was in discussion with the team even before Valtteri Bottas’s accident in Melbourne – which ultimately forced the Finn to miss the opening race of the season – put an extra focus on the need to have a reserve on hand.

Williams decided to sign a driver who had racing experience, and specifically with the hybrid V6, rather than promote Susie Wolff.

Sutil attended all the flyaway races with Williams in 2015, while waiting at home on standby for European events. Although he sampled the car in the simulator he never actually drove the FW37 on track.

It’s not yet clear whether Williams will hire another experienced driver as reserve. With Wolff now retired GP2 racer Alex Lynn has been tipped to continue in a test role.

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Mallya in no hurry to decide 2014 Force India line-up

Dr Vijay Mallya insists that he’s in no hurry to confirm Force India’s driver line-up for 2014.

Along with Lotus the team is among the most attractive with seats potentially available, and the likes of Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg have been linked with a drive.

“People have come to me, but I’m notorious for making the decision at the very last minute.” Mallya told this writer. “The reason is because I think that if one was to announce a change now – if I intend to make a change – I tend to believe it will demotivate a driver who’s leaving, which I don’t think is very fair. Be that as it may, I have been approached, and I’ll consider all our options.

“There are people who believe that we have an excellent driver line-up today. Both are very talented youngsters. We’ve always tried to have a solid driver line-up, and we’ll continue that going forward.”

Asked if he was interested in Massa – who potentially has some backing – Mallya said that money was not the key issue.

“The decision will be made on the driver’s competence and potential contribution to the team. None of our race seats has ever been for sale, and I’m totally against that concept, because I will not compromise the hard work of the design team and the engineers by putting in a driver whose sole criteria is whether he brings in money or not.

“I have to admit that Massa is not just a Grand Prix winner but a damn good driver. I think even this season he’s outqualified Alonso a few times, so there’s no question about his competence. But we’ll see as it goes along.”

He also didn’t rule out bringing back Hulkenberg, even if it meant having two German drivers should Adrian Sutil stay.

“Why not? For me if nationality were to ever matter all other things being equal it would probably tilt the scales in favour of an Indian, but there are no Indians around. Beyond that, as long as there is no Indian on the horizon, I don’t care.

“To me the focus is on a driver who’s talented, can get the most out of the car, can give proper feedback, can help the engineers develop the car, and make us as a team more competitive.”

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Force India will fight McLaren for fifth place, says Fernley

Despite Adrian Sutil’s recent bad luck Force India is currently holding fifth place in the World Championship, and while the team acknowledges that it won’t be easy to outrun McLaren over the season, it does not rule out the possibility.

Sutil set second fastest lap in Bahrain and third fastest lap in Spain in the course of recovery drives from early delays.

Deputy team principal Bob Fernley believes that the outfit can maintain its good current form.

“Fifth is something we’ll fight for, but being realistic you can’t easily fight with the might of McLaren,” Fernley told this writer. “It’s nice to come out of the first five races in fifth place, but can we hold it? It will be tough. But we’ll give it a good go! We’ve got competitive drivers giving everything they can.

“I think the weakness for the team at the moment is getting both cars in the points. That’s what we’ve got to try and overcome. In Bahrain effectively we beat two Mercedes, two Ferraris, two McLarens and a Red Bull. We’re not quite there yet to be able to take on the pace that some of them have, but I think we can race Mercedes at the moment.”

Fernley doesn’t think that the team will lose out in the development race.

“In fact in the last two years we’ve got better through the season, and I think the same thing will apply. But I’m not sure that you’re going to see the same big steps that we’ve seen in the past. We’re coming to the end of evolution of development. Of course there will be some things, but I don’t think there’s a big upgrade left in anyone’s cars. And soon people will have to start looking at 2014.

“We’ve just got to brush ourselves down from Adrian’s point of view, and with Paul just continue on, because he’s had a remarkable run. We’ve never had a bad car in Monaco, we’ve always done quite well there. And it’s encouraging for us that we could go to places like Shanghai and Barcelona, historically not our better tracks, and at both qualify and race in the top 10.”

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