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Shanghai 2009: Adrian Sutil Should Avoid Walking Under Ladders

Shanghai 2009: Adrian Sutil Should Avoid Walking Under Ladders

Poor Adrian Sutil. What does the man have to do to score a point in Formula One? The German driver has come so close on occasion to achieving the impossible that surely he deserves just a little bit of luck. Each time though there is always something or someone who ends his race early, and today it was Sutil himself who got caught out by the perilous conditions, throwing his Force India off the track like it was a toy car on a Scalextric track. Adrian was touring in P7 at the time and looking good for the remainder of the race.

In 2008 and during wet weather at Monaco, Sutil was running in a very well deserved fourth place towards the end of the race. The safety car had just returned to the pitlane and the drivers were once again racing on the drying track. Coming out of the tunnel and heading down to the chicane, Kimi Raikkonen – who was right behind Sutil – lost the rear of his Ferrari as the Finn ran over some water. The resulting accident took Sutil out of the race as Raikkonen effectively used the Force India as a brake. Although a racing accident, it was painful to watch Sutil stalk back to the pitlane, his head in his hands and clearly very distraught.

Today, the trained pianist had a similar march back to the pitlane to endure, although this time it was more his fault than anyone else’s. Again, Sutil was on track within the vicinity of Kimi Raikkonen, but the accident was all of Sutil’s doing. It doesn’t make it much easier though, as the young driver had driven his heart out to be in the position he was in.

I had prepared myself for a hard race and that’s exactly what it was. We took a risk with the strategy with a very early stop and it was a long way to go with one set of tyres. Then it started to rain again and it was very hard to keep the car on the circuit.

Sometimes even in a straight line in fourth or fifth gear I was struggling with aquaplaning and I was very lucky to keep the car on the circuit for so long. Adrian Sutil.

Adrian was then a little more philosophical about the incident and admitted that today’s loss of result reminded him of Monaco last year.

It’s a shame – you focus so much and think you can do it, but the car was just out of control at the end. I had the same feeling as Monaco – it’s hard to believe when you are in the car and then suddenly you lose it and it’s all over from such a great position.

But you have to get over it, we had a great performance today. It’s good for the team and I think we deserved the points, I just feel bad for everyone here. It was a very good strategy call, but that’s what we had to do: take a risk. Adrian Sutil.

Compared to his much more experienced team mate Giancarlo Fisichella, Sutil is driving very well. His abilities in the wet weather are certainly good, as at other times last year, when the rain fell Sutil drove well. But being in a largely under-performing car, it is far from easy for the team to get into the point-paying positions. I still believe Force India can and will score this year, but it will require a little more luck and for their drivers to remain on the circuit for the full race distance.

Oliver White

3 comments

  • I have felt really bad for Sutil both times, as well as for the Force India team. It is a shame that both incidents happened so deep in what was otherwise a good race. That must make it all the harder to take, I would think.

  • OK, so Adrian did lose it in Turn 5, but there was a river crossing the track at that point, which is probably the hardest of all types of water to cross, and this was in the same car that went off five times between Adrian and Giancarlo in the completely dry Free Practise 2.

    Moving water + evil-handling car + risky driving method (as Adrian himself admitted in the post-race press release) + four faster cars immediately behind = trouble, and always will.

    A few more stern words with Lady Luck are needed – as is a car that responds a bit more forgivingly to being pushed so hard and is generally a bit quicker.

  • Adrian did lose it in Turn 5, but there was a river crossing the track at that point

    Sutil also mentioned that his risky strategy of running long on the tyres contributed. Adrian said that his boots were worn and when the rain started again towards the end, he had little chance of keeping it on the island.

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