AUGUST 4, 2010
Sutil keeps open mind on 2011
Adrian Sutil, rumoured to be strongly in the frame for a Renault seat alongside Robert Kubica next year, says he is keeping an open mind about 2011.
"I'm happy at Force India but I want to move forward," he admits. "The top teams are pretty much closed, so it's hard to find a better seat than here. Scoring points regularly was my goal for this season and next year I want to improve again, whether it's somewhere else, or here. It's a tough decision to make right now. If you are signing up for something like three years and you're not confident the team is better, then you shouldn't do it."
Force India ran a blown diffuser in Friday practice in Hungary but reverted to standard specification for Saturday and the race, with Sutil qualifying 13th.
"The upgrade was very conclusive but not ready for a race," he explained. "The diffuser and wishbones run really high temperatures. The risk would have been too high but it definitely worked well and we will hopefully use it at Spa."
Thirteenth on the grid was better than Sutil expected when he was 16th in FP2 and struggling to get a lap time out of the super soft Bridgestones.
"We have very low downforce and I think it was just a problem actually switching the tyre on," he explained. "You need two or three laps to make the tyres work and then you drive very consistent laps but there is no peak in the tyre. But in qualifying the temperature went up, the grip increased and it was better."
In the race, however, Sutil was left frustrated, an an innocent victim when Renault released Robert Kubica straight into the Force India's path as everyone pitted under a lap 14 Safety Car.
"I'd made up two places and everything was going well but there was absolutely nothing I could do to avoid Robert. It's a big shame, my first DNF since Melbourne," he said.
Sutil predicts a more difficult time at at the forthcoming Spa and Monza races than in 2009, when Force India stunned the establishment with pole position and second place at Spa in 2009, Giancarlo Fisichella only losing out to Kimi Raikkonen's KERS. "Our advantage will not be like last year, when we had incredible straight line speed and the car was so efficient," Sutil says. "We are still good but it will be a problem to race for pole position even if points should be possible at Spa and Monza."
Heikki Kovalainen, also touted for a potential return to Renault, said last weekend that he was happy at Lotus and looking forward to a more competitive 2011.