Adrian Sutil has stated how he believes Force India is now safe from Sauber in the Constructors’ Championship, with only three races remaining in the season. After a relatively uncompetitive second half to the season, the gap between the two outfits’ has diminished somewhat to only 23 points.
Despite Sauber’s sudden resurgence in the latter half of the season, Adrian Sutil is confident that the Silverstone-based outfit will remain ahead of the their Swiss rivals as the season draws to a conclusion. Since the end of the summer break in August, Sauber have romped to an impressive 36 points primarily at the hands of Germany’s Nico Hulkenberg. In stark contrast to Sauber’s competitive string of results, Force India have only managed a meager seven points in the same timeframe. Regardless of these stats, Adrian Sutil has reiterated his belief that the Silverstone-based outfit is “quite comfortable” in the Constructors’ Championship.
“The last couple of races were a bit more difficult to score the points but we recovered and we did what we could to make a good result [in India].” Explained Adrian Sutil in the FIA drivers’ press conference. “Eighth and ninth position was almost the maximum we could achieve. Six points as a team, now 23 points ahead of Sauber, which is quite a good gap. It’s not over yet, we have to push on, but I think [we are] quite comfortable. It’s very important for us to save this sixth position in the Championship, looking to next year of course, as a team.”
Like many teams up and down the paddock, the change to the Pirelli tyres greatly effected Force India’s competitiveness and subsequent results. At the start of the season the Silverstone-based outfit was one of the many teams who were relatively competitive on the new 2013-spec Pirelli tyres, with Adrian Sutil even leading several laps in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. However, the German has confirmed that the alterations made after the fiasco at the British Grand Prix hurt the team’s competitiveness. With the team also calling a halt to further developments to their car earlier in the season, they were soon overtaken by McLaren in the Constructors’ Championship and were soon being caught by Sauber.
“Yes, it’s true. It’s one reason.” Confirmed Adrian Sutil, when asked about Pirelli’s tyre alterations in the FIA drivers’ press conference. “We were a bit slower after that change but also we decided to stop the development very early in the season, so we had no parts on the car for the last six months or so. It’s quite a long time. I think it just hit us: from the tyre; from the development. Also the strategies in the race were more equal for everyone. Normally we were able to save one pitstop just because our tyre life was much better to others. After the tyre change that was different. “
After finally making a return to the points last weekend in India, both Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta will undoubtedly be striving to repeat such successes this weekend in a bid to defend their position in the Championship to Sauber. Despite Adrian Sutil’s assurances that they are safe from the threat of Sauber, the Hinwil-based outfit need only enjoy further competitiveness during the final three races to make the battle for 6th in the Constructors’ Championship a thrilling affair.
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