Sutil crash costs Force India first point

Adrian Sutil was mixing it with the McLaren before his crash

Adrian Sutil was mixing it with the McLaren before his crash

It was a repeat of last year’s Monaco Grand Prix for Adrian Sutil as he came within a few laps of scoring Force India’s first ever point.

But this time instead of being shunted out of the race by Kimi Raikkonen, Sutil was the cause of his own undoing – crashing out heavily at turn five.

As the race started behind the safety car Sutil made an early pit stop to switch from a short first stint to a long one.

It worked well, and he gradually rose up the running order. He made it up to seventh behind the two McLarens, which became sixth on lap 49 when Lewis Hamilton spun.

But the combination of an increasingly worn track and wet tyres did for him on the next lap. Much as Nelson Piquet Jnr had done a few laps later, Sutil lost the car at the turn five kink – but unlike Piquet he made it as far as the barrier, tearing the nose and one wheel of the VJM02.

Force India have now gone 21 races without scoring a point. If you’d asked Vijay Mallya at the start of the year if he’d like to be tied with Ferrari in the constructors’ championship after three rounds I’m sure he’d have said yes – but this probably isn’t what he had in mind.

Sutil gave them their best result to date at Australia – ninth after Lewis Hamilton’s exclusion.

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29 comments on Sutil crash costs Force India first point

  1. casebury said on 19th April 2009, 12:46

    is that surposed to say ‘increasingly wet track and worn tyres’ instead of ‘increasingly worn track and wet tyres’

  2. You have to feel for the team, they’ve been so close to scoring points a few times now, especially the Monaco race and today. And imo, Sutil deserves a drive at a top team, his performances would be amazing if he had a winning car. His performance in the wet is one of the best on the grid.

    • How about a Renault or a STR?

      Im sure that there will be a spot in these teams opening at the end of the season with Piquet Jnr and Bourdais driving as (relatively) poorly as they are

    • David A said on 20th April 2009, 3:12

      Also Australia this year.

  3. Sush Meerkat said on 19th April 2009, 13:26

    his performances would be amazing if he had a winning car. His performance in the wet is one of the best on the grid

    I agree, not to mention he does it in a Force India, a car that has been described as “Evil” by a veteran race driver.

    Apparently Ralf Schumaker said that after trying to drive it, he pulled out of F1 after driving it, coincidence?.

  4. I doubt he’d be able to do much with a great car, he got slaughtered by Hamilton years ago when he was his teammate in a junior formula. If he was a driver of that calibre, he would not be spending his third season as a backmarker, he would have been signed by a better team.

    • Kovy said on 19th April 2009, 14:04

      Goes to show that Fisichella really should retire soon. I like him, but he’s been dominated b every team mate he’s had in the last half decade. I don’t think Sutil is brilliant, but I think he deserves a mid field car for at least a year.

  5. bertie bassett said on 19th April 2009, 13:56

    what goes round!!!!!

  6. Damon said on 19th April 2009, 14:33

    Haha, Force India were so close of being ahead of Ferrari in the constructors championship :)))))

  7. Patrickl said on 19th April 2009, 14:50

    Sutil made his last stop on lap 20. So he stil had to make one more stop when he crashed on lap 50. All the other drivers already made their stop and there was a whole row of drivers close behind him.

    Sutil would not have gotten a single point. Not even close. It’s more likely that Sutil would have finished just ahead of Fisichella.

    Don’t be fooled by the position where drivers crash out.

    Just like Massa on P3.

  8. goofy said on 19th April 2009, 15:23

    in an interview in german TV he said he had enough fuel to finish.

    • Patrickl said on 19th April 2009, 15:45

      Well then it’s no wonder he couldn’t keep it on track. How can he expect his tyres to last so many laps with such a high fuel load?

  9. Loki said on 19th April 2009, 16:34

    Forgive me if I got this wrong, but had Sutil finished in 4th place at Monaco last year, wasn’t there a penalty waiting for him that would’ve negated those points anyway?

    Regardless, gotta feel sorry for the guy – most drivers, Webber, Button, Hamilton included, all had their moments, his was at the wrong place and it ended his race.

    On the positive side, I actually do think they’re going to score points this year. Nobody could’ve scripted what’s happened so far, and though they would depend on attrition, I think they will find that elusive point. (Wish I could say the same for Ferrari, at the moment!)

    • Mr Soap said on 19th April 2009, 16:53

      Nothing confirmed. He did pass cars under yellows, but they were practically stationary due to an accident at the Grand Hotel Hairpin, so it could’ve been seen either way.

      There was no ruling made, as far as I’m aware. From the onboard shot of Sutils car, a penalty would’ve been harsh.

    • Monkzie said on 19th April 2009, 16:56

      On the positive side, I actually do think they’re going to score points this year.

      Could you imagine – with the way the championship is going, Ferrari could actually be the only constructor with no points! When would that have last happened?

    • David A said on 20th April 2009, 3:16

      Forgive me if I got this wrong, but had Sutil finished in 4th place at Monaco last year, wasn’t there a penalty waiting for him that would’ve negated those points anyway?

      Where did you hear that?

  10. Bbbut said on 19th April 2009, 19:31

    Nothing confirmed. He did pass cars under yellows, but they were practically stationary due to an accident at the Grand Hotel Hairpin, so it could’ve been seen either way.

    Wrong! The whole story was made up by an Swiss newspaper.
    Sadly it took the FIA nearly two weeks to state, that there was never a penalty in question.
    The race commissioners not even considered it. Alan Donnelly (FIA official) talked to Sutil after the race and gave him an oral warning (to be sure the other cars do not move), but that is all they ever considered…

  11. “tearing the nose and one wheel of the VJM02.”

    More along the lines of “tearing off the nose and two wheels of the VJM02.”

  12. Oliver said on 19th April 2009, 20:38

    I can’t blame Sutil, his tyres must have been worn out. The ForceIndia car isn’t the best handling car on the grid. Matter of fact, I think the car spat him into the barrier :-)

    • The river that had developed across Turn 5 didn’t exactly help matters either, as Piquet Jr. had already discovered.

      It was not a good day to be a polystyrene marker board…

  13. It certainly would have been nice to see FI score a point or two. Certainly even more so if Ferrari did not ;)

    The way this season is shaping up though, I’d be surprised if it didn’t happen sooner or later. Three races in, and they’ve all been crazy so far so who knows what’s in store for us?

  14. Jay Menon said on 20th April 2009, 2:22

    I think its time Fisi hung up his gloves. He’s been off the pace all season, maybe for a couple years now as well. Good performance from Sutil, unfortunate to crash.

    On the same note, Nelson Piquet and Nakajima need to be sacked. They both clearly don’t belong in F1.

    • Patrickl said on 20th April 2009, 12:17

      Sutil unfortunate to crash? Isn’t that more down to dumb tactics combined with driver error?

      This year’s full wets don’t last very long, yet Sutil tries to run a 36 lap stint on them and then decides he can actually start pushing on them too (well he probably had to push because he was threatened from behind by several cars).

  15. Gman said on 20th April 2009, 18:50

    The conditions out there were tough for everyone- it was just a case of bad luck for Sutil.

    As for Sutil’s performance compared to Fisi, I have wondered for some time about the internal politics at FI, meaning do they favor Sutil over Fisi or perhaps vice-versa. Sutil always seems to be winning the teammate battles, even when it comes to P19 vs. P20 in quali, so perhaps Giancarlo starts in a bit of a hole.

    I can’t see Fisi sticking around past this year, and some of the reports I have read state that Liuzzi is already on tap to replace him. Makes you wonder if Vijay will ever get an Indian driver in one of his cars….

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