The car has potential - Sutil

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Force India Formula One Team driver Adrian Sutil had a rather disappointing Malaysian Grand Prix as a tyre gamble at the unpredictable Sepang ruined his race. The young German reviews the first rain race of the season.

The Malaysian GP was a frustrating race for Adrian Sutil, who was hoping that rain would give him the sort of boost that he had in Monaco last year. After starting on a light fuel load he made his first stop on lap 15, just before the skies darkened. With rain threatening he came in again just three laps later and gambled on wets, as did Kimi Raikkonen on the very same lap. The gamble didn’t pay off, but after the red flag he was ready with new wet tyres and a full tank for the run to the finish. However, the race was not restarted and thus he was unable to take advantage of his strategy. We asked Adrian for his thoughts on the weekend

Why did you take the tyre gamble?

"I pitted and I did one or two laps on slicks, but then I had a small problem with the car so I couldn’t really drive the car in the dry. We pitted again and changed onto the wet tyres and with slower speeds through the corners, it was alright, I could drive the car."

Did you realise straight away that the change was too early?

"Yes, I think I was one of the first! I did five or six laps on wets in the dry but it was dark, it was starting to spot with rain and we had nothing to lose. Just before the race was stopped I put on new wet tyres because my first set was really worn out as we had changed too early, as we took a gamble. When the race stopped we had pitted and changed again and refuelled. In fact we would have been in quite a good position as some of the other teams still had to stop."

Any regrets on taking that gamble?

"For sure we lost a lap or one and a half laps but we had to try, as we were at the end of the field. Sometimes it works out, sometimes not. I’m not really disappointed about that, I’m more disappointed that the race was suspended, and there was no other chance. We have to look at whether it’s really a good idea to run races so late! We were running out of time, and that’s a shame really."

So do you see it as a missed opportunity?

"Yes, definitely. I was hoping to restart the race because we were filled up. We were the only car which went into the pits at that point and right at this time they stopped the race and we had to wait at the end of the pitlane. It was not a problem, as I was 15th with a good chance to gain a lot of places but it was just getting too dark."

Have had a chance to fight with anyone running KERS?

"In Melbourne I had Nick Heidfeld in front of me, but like I said, our car is very fast on the straight, and I couldn’t really see a benefit of KERS. I was actually slipstreaming him sometimes and trying to overtake, so it is possible without KERS. Right now they seem to have a little bit of a problem with the balance all the time when they run KERS, so it’s very, very equal."

Any thoughts on the next race in China?

"It’s quite a nice circuit, with good corners. Let’s see how the temperature is. It could be quite cold there now. In previous years we’ve had the race at the end of the season in hot conditions, so this could be the main difference. But I’m looking forward to it."

Source Force India