Adrian Sutil

Adrian Sutil

PROFILE

A relatively late starter, Adrian Sutil began karting at the age of 14 and moved up to the Swiss Formula Ford, where he dominated, winning all 12 races from pole. After a year in Formula BMW with little success, he graduated to the Formula 3 Euroseries, finishing second in his second season behind close friend and team-mate Lewis Hamilton, earning himself a testing contract for Midland F1.

After winning the 2006 All-Japan Formula 3 championship, he was rewarded with a race seat at Spyker, the new name of the Midland team, making his debut at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix, scoring 17th place. At Fuji he scored his first point, with an eighth place after qualifying 20th. It was the only point the Spyker team ever won.

At the end of the 2007 season, Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya lead a consortium to buy Spyker, which was renamed Force India. Sutil remained with the team, but did not score a single point in the 2008 season, and failed to finish on 11 occasions.

In 2009 he showed greater consistency despite the car struggling for pace, and at Monza he qualified second behind Hamilton, but despite posting the fastest time of the race, missed out on his first podium, finishing fourth.

In Brazil he qualified third, but retired on the third lap after a collision with Toyota’s Jarno Trulli. Trulli was furious with Sutil and publicly criticised him, believing the Force India was at be at fault for the crash, which also brought Fernando Alonso’s race to an end. The stewards took no action against Sutil but Trulli was fined for his outburst.

In 2010 he built on his potential, bagging 47 points and outscoring his team-mate Tonio Liuzzi. However, his race craft was called into question once more at the Korean Grand Prix when a kamikaze blast through the field ended with him in the barrier and a number of other drivers having close calls.

Nevertheless, Force India was still keen to retain him for 2011, meaning he started five consecutive seasons with the same team. After a solid if unspectacular start to the season, Sutil finished the year strongly with 14 points at the last three races, but it wasn’t enough to hold onto the seat and he was replaced by Nico Hulkenberg for 2012.

However, when Hulkenberg left for Sauber in 2015 Force India was left without a driver and looked to either Sutil or test driver Jules Bianchi. After both drivers took part in the second pre-season test, Sutil was finally confirmed as the driver and rekindled his partnership with di Resta.

A strong start to the season faded away as Force India was hurt by a tyre change and lack of car development, and the team opted for a complete refresh of its driver line-up as re-signed Hulkenberg and paired him with Sergio Perez. However, Sutil already had a move lined up and was soon confirmed at Sauber for 2015.

Strengths and Weaknesses
Impressively quick over one lap Sutil has shown his natural speed, even in a relatively uncompetitive car. However, a number of collisions gave him a reputation as a dangerous driver and he’s lacked the spark of brilliance that can sometimes take a midfield car further.

Career High 
Setting the fastest lap during the 2009 Italian Grand Prix after starting on the front of the grid beside former F3 team-mate and good friend Lewis Hamilton.

Career Low
Losing his Force India driver at the end of 2011 having been charged with GBH for assaulting the CEO of Lotus owners Genii Capital – Eric Lux – in a bar in China.

Quotes
“I want to show what I can do on the track. That shouldn’t be too much to ask. It is terribly hard to always end up on the back row when you know that you can do much better. You want to prove yourself, but it is hard if the car doesn’t allow that.”

“He is a promising young talent for us, but we have to be realistic with where we are at the moment in terms of the car. We are always working on improving it and we need to provide him with better cars to compete against the best teams and drivers. Adrian is a big asset for the future. I believe in the future he will be a big rival on the track to Lewis Hamilton.” Colin Kolles, former Spyker team principal

Trivia
He is the son of the Uruguayan violinist, Jorge Sutil, and as a talented pianist himself, was set to follow his father into the concert hall until he discovered karting.

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