Adrian Sutil believes the puncture he picked up when he was hit by Robert Kubica cost him a potential fifth-place finish in the Canadian Grand Prix.
We missed out on a big chance. It was not our fault, but still we missed a big chance. I think position five or six was possible, certainly sixth behind Mark Webber. The pace was good, we knew that after qualifying, so it was a little bit disappointing. But we can be happy that both cars finished in the points.
Sutil described his shock when Kubica drove around him at speed to get into the pits, clipped Sutil’s right-rear tyre as he went:
I was trying to pass him, but I didn’t know that he was going into the pits. He suddenly backed off. He was right behind me, and I thought, ‘Good I’ve gained a position.’ I was braking as normal before the chicane, and suddenly he came flying down the inside.
I thought he’d missed his braking point and was trying to get the position back. But then he pulled into the pits, and I was wondering, ‘What did he do?’. He touched me slightly on the rear right tyre, and I got a puncture. Within 200m the pressure dropped down, and under braking for the first corner I lost the car and went straight. That manoeuvre ended my race.
I was so unlucky, because I had to do the whole lap with a punctured tyre. I lost around 20 seconds, and it did huge damage to the floor. There was no real floor left on that side, to be honest! And then I just had to race as it was. I still did a good race, and could fight for positions. It was tough, but I got a point in the end.
Kubica was handed a reprimand for the move after the race.
Sutil’s tyre came apart at the fastest point on the circuit on his way back to the pits and Kubica had to fight to keep his car under control as the tyre carcass separated from the wheel.
The television race director missed that moment (it was shown on the onboard camera feed) and only caught the end of Sutil’s last-lap pass on Michael Schumacher. Sutil described how he got past the Mercedes:
I passed him at the last corner. He was struggling on the tyres, which was really good for me. We were side-by-side on the straight, and I was just braking later for the last chicane, and passed him on the outside. So I got the last point out of it. I really worked hard for it, I had a hard race! You had to push all the time, try to defend your position, try to push for position, overtake people. In the end I got at least one point.
Sutil added he also missed out on a chance to pass Kubica on the first lap, when team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi collided with Felipe Massa:
I had a great start from ninth and I was right next to Massa into the first corner. It was quite a mess there and he hit Tonio. They were really pinched together and I tried to go on the inside. I was past Kubica already, but I was quite affected by this incident and had to back off, so he got the position back.
2010 Canadian Grand Prix
- Technical review: Canadian Grand Prix
- Canadian Grand Prix was best race since Brazil 2008, F1 Fanatic readers say
- Kubica contact cost me fifth – Sutil
- “Can’t afford to just take points” – Hamilton
- Schumacher “closed the door too much”
- Alonso had fastest pit stop in Canada
- Alonso expects improvements at Ferrari
- 2010 Canadian Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Hamilton wins despite more pit stop problems (McLaren race review)
- Alonso blames traffic for losing first and second places (Ferrari race review)