Sutil tipped to claim final seat at Force India

F1 Fanatic round-up

Adrian Sutil, Force India, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: Adrian Sutil looks set to be confirmed as Force India’s driver for 2013.

Links

Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Sutil handed second chance (The Telegraph)

“While Vijay Mallya?s team are yet to confirm the appointment officially, Nicolas Todt, agent for reserve driver Jules Bianchi, disclosed on Wednesday that the more experienced Sutil had been preferred to the French rookie.”

McLaren expecting tight battle in first few races (Reuters)

McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale: “I don’t think we’ve seen anybody yet do a lap time that we felt we couldn’t have done if we’d changed the fuel load.”

Lotus shrugs off FIA engine map ruling (Autosport)

Lotus technical director James Allison: “Having run it on the track and found it didn’t work very well anyway, we learned from the FIA that they were not so happy with what we proposed. So we are not doing it.”

Grosjean gets Lotus crash warning (BBC)

Eric Boullier: “F1 is a tough world and obviously we definitely cannot afford to have another year like last year.”

Rookie diary – Sauber?s Esteban Gutierrez (F1)

“I actually feel quite established now and I?ll do everything I can to be as best prepared as possible for my first race in Australia. Right now, near the end of the test season, I think that everybody wants to go out do some racing. I feel that everybody is so eager for competition – at least that?s what I am feeling very strongly.”

Red Bull’s VIP trip: budget airline, hotel in the wrong country, and you’re not a VIP (The Independent)

“It was supposed to have been the VIP trip of a lifetime to the Belgium Grand Prix. But Red Bull has been censured after sending competition winners on a budget haul dash across three countries, making them share a bed and then sending them home early after they were barred from entering the race’s VIP enclosure.”

Simulating a lap (F1 Framework)

“This time we will talk about software simulators and in particular, showcase the one from Ansible Design. It’s called AeroLap and is able to simulate a whole lap given certain car parameters and even take environmental factors into account.”

Xevi Pujolar, Chief Race Engineer of the Williams F1 Team on the FW35 and 2013 Season (Williams via YouTube)

Final pre-season test: Team-by-team guide (NBC)

A short piece on testing so far I wrote for NBC yesterday.

Tweets

Comment of the day

@Clay thinks Force India could have done better with their choice of driver:

Sutil has had his chance, and he has been slow when compared to anyone with talent. Force India would be better off with the best driver they can get who might just bring them in more cash through better results ?ǣ radical plan, I know, but this is Force India where conservative just won?t do and the best drivers always get the seats??

I?d go for Kamui Kobayashi ?ǣ he is awesome. Attack the Japanese hard for support, and if Honda is making a comeback he might be worth having on board as Force India might then be able to get Honda engines on the cheap (I know I?m guessing here but who knows?). Timo Glock could also be an option, or one of the ??lost? McLaren drivers like Gary Paffett or Jamie Green ?ǣ lots of testing miles over the years and worth a crack. If Jules Bianchi is not getting the drive as Force India want him to do a year testing then why go back to a hack like Sutil? Hell, if you?re going to do that then give Rubens Barrichello or Ralf Schumacher a call eh?
@Clay

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Bastardo, Kevin and Lame2741!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Ferrari’s pre-season preparations suffered a setback ten years ago today when Luca Badoer crashed and heavily damaged the team’s new F2003-GA at Jerez.

Image ?? Force India

Advert | Go Ad-free

111 comments on Sutil tipped to claim final seat at Force India

  1. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 28th February 2013, 0:07

    Agree entirely with the COTD. I cannot imagine Sutil doing ANYTHING different from what we saw already from him, which was nothing spectacular.

    I personally rate him very low. He’s just a faster Liuzzi, a good Trulli at times, and a less talented Fisichella. Personal opinion, don’t get angry ! But they’d be better off with Bianchi, or any new guy.

    • I disagree lot’s with

      “Timo Glock could also be an option, or one of the ‘lost’ McLaren drivers like Gary Paffett or Jamie Green – lots of testing miles over the years and worth a crack.”

      People that bring crack money shouldn’t be considered, I don’t care what most people’s views are, mine are that those who enter F1 through illegal money should not be considered. If a driver is to pay for a seat it must be via legitimate means, through skill and legitimate sponsors not via extravagant or/ illegal avenues. I know crack cocaine can make alot of money for the dealers but the untold misery it causes the masses should not be used to further an F1 driver’s career

    • joe123 said on 28th February 2013, 1:41

      But why did they take so long to decide. Autosport says its after carefully weighing the driving abilities – surely not – how long would they need.

      Others think it’s a Mercedes engine deal done – if so we’ll hear very soon – if not questions must be asked why Sutil?

      Here’s some interesting speculation…http://wp.me/p2HWOP-1vg

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th February 2013, 6:56

        Its interesting speculation, not that much more.

        Yes, its almost certain that money (and the problems FI owners are facing with cash flow) are reasons for the delay. Its also likely that part of it was negotiation on what engine to choose for 2014, and it seems that Ferrari initially had the upper hand, but Mercedes made a huge effort to bring down the price in the last couple of months (imagine embarrassment from being undercut by Ferrari).
        An interesting thought I read about yesterday, was that initially it was Jaime Alguersuari the team were seeing as the best candidate over Bianchi, while Sutil came back into it because of Mercedes efforts.

    • Howard (@howard) said on 28th February 2013, 2:47

      I didn’t see anyone spectacular in a mid field car.
      Do you think Bianchi would have set the F1 world on fire in this years Force India?
      I don’t think so, Bianchi got a big ego since he’s got Ferrari pushing for his seat.

      • @howard
        I seriously think that the phrase “set the F1 world on fire” is overused in F1 these days. I mean, why do you want anyone to “set the world on fire”?!:) Of course you literally dont mean that but if you mean that they need to show some top class performance, then they need to have a top class car. We need to stop comparing every new driver on the driver to a Hamilton or Alonso or Vettel. Drivers like them are exceptional. And I think any midfield team would prefer drivers who are reliable and consistent rather than someone who sets the world, or the car, on fire!

    • Enigma (@enigma) said on 28th February 2013, 6:12

      @fer-no65 I agree. But I think he’ll do a better job this year than Bianchi would have, due to his experience. He’s a decent enough and a reliable driver, but no champion.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 28th February 2013, 6:29

      I’m a Kamui fan but biase apart, he’s much better than Sutil.

    • I couldn’t agree more with the comments on Sutil but I couldn’t agree less with the fantasy replacements. Realistically, this is a fight purely between Sutil and Bianchi and the alternatives which have been mentioned hardly set the world on fire themselves (as they are now, so that includes Schumacher).

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 28th February 2013, 18:06

      I disagree – I think Sutil did a decent job last time and I prefer to see the best drivers in the field. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sutil at least match Hulk.

  2. Timebolt (@timebolt759) said on 28th February 2013, 0:09

    I’m not pleased that Sutil has got the seat. It’s just as the COTD says he had his chance and he flunked it with that crime he committed which has completely slipped my mind.

    As for Grosjean I’m still pleased that he has been givern a second chance even Lotus have told him that another season like last year would be the end of his contract with them. Grosjean is talented he just pushes himself too hard just as Eric Boullier says. I admire him for that but at the same he has put other drivers at risk just like Maldonado has except Grosjean is doing something about it whilst Maldonado is doing sod all. Why did Williams get rid of Senna and kept the Psycho?

    • Slr (@slr) said on 28th February 2013, 0:16

      Why did Williams get rid of Senna and kept the Psycho?

      Because Senna was too slow and he never did anything that remarkable in a car which was capable of allowing a driver to do something big with it. He had a few highs, but they weren’t that great compared to the his team mate or the Sauber and Force India driver’s highs.

    • George (@george) said on 28th February 2013, 0:17

      Grosjean was still a menace at the end of the season, Maldonado was pretty clean. Maldonado won a race in a worse car, too.

      • Timebolt (@timebolt759) said on 28th February 2013, 0:27

        Grosjean wasn’t a menace he didn’t have his mind in the right place. I wouldn’t have said his collision with the HRT in Brazil was because he was a menace but because he just wasn’t thinking properly. Some might argue the HRT is to blame but I disagree Grosjean took the wrong line.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 28th February 2013, 2:19

          @george @timebolt759 – In fairness to Grosjean, at least he finished 8th, where his car should have been in the standings. Maldonado and Bruno Senna underachieved significantly in a car that was believed to be better than Force India, and possibly Sauber and Mercedes, in order to be 15th and 16th.

        • Wonderduck (@wonderduck) said on 28th February 2013, 4:43

          Grosjean wasn’t a menace he didn’t have his mind in the right place.

          When you’re sitting in a car that can go 200mph, surrounded by 21 other cars, and your mind isn’t in the right place… yeah, you’re kind of a menace.

    • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 28th February 2013, 0:51

      except Grosjean is doing something about it whilst Maldonado is doing sod all

      He was very strong at Abu Dhabi, while Grosjean kept making mistakes and when he didn’t, he was quite slow, wasn’t he?

      • Timebolt (@timebolt759) said on 28th February 2013, 1:07

        Okay I can’t argue against that and I am biased being a Lotus fan so I’m going to defend Grosjean to a degree but I just haven’t forgiven Maldonado for some of his actions and comments last season whilst I just think Grosjean is just a lost kid trying too hard to do the best when if he just held back a little he would do rather well.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th February 2013, 0:52

      It’s just as the COTD says he had his chance and he flunked it with that crime he committed which has completely slipped my mind.

      I hardly think you can characterise Sutil’s assault charge as a crime. Although convicted by a court of law, it was really a misdemeanour. He got a suspended sentence, which means he avoided jail time (provided he didn’t do anything like it for eighteen months), and by all accounts, the actual act that got him in trouble – glassing Eric Lux – was a spur of the moment thing. I’ve heard that both Sutil and Lux were drunk at the time, and that Lux had spent the better part of the evening insulting Sutil, though I can’t really find out anything more about that.

      And I don’t think it’s reasonable to hold Sutil’s conviction against him like that. He was convicted, paid his fine and has served out most of his suspended sentence (he’s got about six months to go). None of that affects his ability to drive the car, so expecting the team to take someone else instead because of it would be like expecting them to take someone else because Sutil doesn’t speak Hindi.

      • Timebolt (@timebolt759) said on 28th February 2013, 1:03

        I thought he seriously injured someone, guess I was wrong. Nonetheless though I still think Bianchi would have been the better choice if anything to see how he does in an actual race. I’m not saying sutil is a bad driver but Force India could have done better just saying

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th February 2013, 1:21

          I thought he seriously injured someone, guess I was wrong.

          He did. I believe the exact charge was “assault occasioning grievous bodily harm”, and I have heard that the glass he used as a weapon came very close to severing Lux’s carotid artery, which probably would have killed him. However, when it came to sentencing, the judge took into consideration the way it was Sutil’s first offence, and – I believe – surmised that because Sutil was intoxicated (and possibly provoked) at the time, it was unlikely that he would do it again, which is why he got a suspended sentence.

          • Calum (@calum) said on 28th February 2013, 1:25

            It’s still a crime, drink’s no excuse.

          • Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 28th February 2013, 1:30

            It’s still non-excusable, really… one thing doesn’t erase the other.

          • Timebolt (@timebolt759) said on 28th February 2013, 1:37

            So I was right about the seriously injured part. I take back what I said

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th February 2013, 2:31

            It’s still a crime, drink’s no excuse.

            It’s still non-excusable, really… one thing doesn’t erase the other.

            I said it was taken into consideration by the judge, not that it excused him. Assault occasioning grievous bodily harm is a very serious charge, and in many jurisdictions, it comes with mandatory jail time. Nevertheless, the judge still ruled that Sutil was a first-time offender, which is why he got a suspended sentence instead.

            All of this is beside the point, though. The conviction doesn’t impede upon Sutil’s ability to drive the car. There are only a handful of countries hosting Grands Prix who reserve the right to deny entry to convicted felons, but half of them have already said they won’t reject Sutil’s application for an entry visa, and the other half won’t host their race until after Sutil’s probationary period of eighteen months is up, which will make it harder for them to justify blocking his entry.

      • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 28th February 2013, 6:50

        Aggravated assault is a felony crime, as is causing grievous bodily harm. It’s not a misdemeanor and being drunk does not reduce the gravity of the act. The fact that he managed to get a good deal and didn’t go to prison (which is common for rich and famous) doesn’t make it any less of a crime.

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th February 2013, 7:07

        And I don’t think it’s reasonable to hold Sutil’s conviction against him like that. He was convicted, paid his fine and has served out most of his suspended sentence (he’s got about six months to go). None of that affects his ability to drive the car, so expecting the team to take someone else instead because of it would be like expecting them to take someone else because Sutil doesn’t speak Hindi.

        That is the important bit here IMO @prisoner-monkeys. He has made a big mistake, was judged and found guilty. But surely he will be the last guy to go in a bar and risk losing control like that again. From what Will Buxton writes about talking with Sutil during testing it seems it clearly made him more mature, more relexed but also focussed person.

        @maroonjack – you are right about the crime, and being drunk surely is not something that makes it less so. On the other hand, from all we have heard about the case the injured person (Lux) certainly was no angel in how the accident came about. I would say that the relatively mild punishment handed out by the judge reflects those circumstance, while still being within the scope of the acceptable minimum for the crime.

        I think its important to keep the notion that making a mistake does not mean that you are necessarily a bad person, nor that you will stay the same. In some ways that goes for Maldonado as well (he did change on track behavior), and for Grosjean, who after being punished seemed to have trouble getting confident enough to drive to the top of his abilities rather than not seeming to learn.

        • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 28th February 2013, 8:36

          Well maybe Lux wasn’t an angel, but words are very different from violence. Must be some truth in words to trigger such an extreme response.

          The loosing control makes him unsuitable for F1 to me.

          But maybe he’s learned, but I think you can’t change such behaviour. We’ll see.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th February 2013, 9:52

            The loosing control makes him unsuitable for F1 to me.

            The first time he gets behind the steering wheel after drinking I will agree with him being unsuitable @verstappen. It was a criminal offence, the judge gave him the punishment, done.

          • The loosing control makes him unsuitable for F1 to me.

            As opposed to what Michael has done on track throughout his career? Adelaide ’94, Jerez ’97, Hungary 2010…

            Losing control when under pressure was a Schumi trademark.

        • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 28th February 2013, 10:06

          @BasCB I was just responding to this comment by @Prisoner-Monkeys:

          I hardly think you can characterise Sutil’s assault charge as a crime.

          In my opinion it was a felony crime, not misdemeanor, as PM suggests. The fact that Adrian got very light punishment doesn’t change that.

          Also, from the numerous articles i saw on the subject, there is no doubt in my mind that Lux isn’t a very pleasant person to be around, and I’d rather have a beer with Sutil. But you can’t cut someone just because he’s rude and obnoxious. I don’t know if the incident made Adrian more mature, but I sure hope so. I don’t think that Sutil is a bad person, although I think that the same crime committed by an average middle-class Joe Shmoe would end with a prison sentence.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th February 2013, 10:11

            I see we agree on most of it, even if I still carry an optimism in me that

            although I think that the same crime committed by an average middle-class Joe Shmoe would end with a prison sentence.

            would not have to be true @maroonjack!

          • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 28th February 2013, 11:40

            @BasCB Sure, would not have to be true, but we know that there are different standards for different people when it comes to responsibility for committed crimes. Do you think any of us could get away with attacking a wealthy entrepreneur, businessman, CEO and Director of a large international investment company? I think not, and it’s likely that attempted murder would be among the charges.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th February 2013, 12:00

            Do you think any of us could get away with attacking a wealthy entrepreneur, businessman, CEO and Director of a large international investment company?

            I guess those, and race drivers, are the only ones allowed into the kind of club where the accident happened, so I guess its impossible to test that one!

  3. Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 28th February 2013, 0:09

    That Red Bull story’s great! That’s the last time they put Helmut Marko in charge of hospitality.

    Did Nico’s granny knit that hat for him?

  4. Roald (@roald) said on 28th February 2013, 0:17

    The most ridiculous thing about the Red Bull VIP trip is that their spokesman actually tried defending it. Come on, that has to be the crappiest price someone has ever won and they should be ashamed of themselves. Can’t believe they had to leave the race early to catch their flight back…

    • Stormbreak (@stormbreak) said on 28th February 2013, 0:37

      I agree. Why even bother pretending they were VIP tickets? Why not just advertise it as a pair of grandstand tickets. The same amount of people would have still tried to win them, but at least they would have known beforehand they were only getting tickets for the race and they would have to sort out everything else.

      Teams should be careful with how they treat their fans. They may lose even their most die hard fan with actions like those.

      • Brace (@brace) said on 28th February 2013, 0:58

        Because Red Bull is all about hype. A marketing machine that is pretending it’s edgy and stuff.
        There’s nothing “cool” about them and you need to be really gullible to believe their PR.

        If they were really laid back, they’d put a honest advertizing sign over their competition, but then offer the winners an entrance to their motorhome and stuff like that as an added surprise bonus.

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 28th February 2013, 2:23

        Yeah I agree also, it’s utterly ridiculous how they handled the situation.

      • Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 28th February 2013, 14:35

        +1

        It really wouldn’t have caused RBR much hassle to actually provide all the things allegedly promised. Very very poor show.

      • @stormbreak – I wouldn’t go as far as to stop supporting them (I would class myself as a diehard fan, although that’s more due to the fact I’m a Vettel fan) but yes a very poor show by Red Bull and the false advertising only gives them bad PR.

    • Red Bull has commented officially: “We don’t understand all the uproar. The contest passed the static weight tests. It was perfectly legal.”

    • I too think it is ridiculous the way they handled the event, and that they would mislead fans in such a way. I would personally have made a much more stern compliant than what the unfortunate “prize winners” appear to have made…

  5. d3v0 (@d3v0) said on 28th February 2013, 0:33

    My only response to Sutil getting the seat:

    Ugh.

  6. Sorry said on 28th February 2013, 0:34

    Sutil will finish ahead of Di Resta.
    Gary Paffet? Jamie Green? Really?

  7. Brace (@brace) said on 28th February 2013, 0:53

    So COTD is suggestion that Kamui didn’t have a chance to show what he knows compared to Sutil.

    Then, it proceeds to make more wishful, far-fetched daydreams then my ex boss, and to top it off, suggests that McLaren’s test drivers were actually pounding around Luca Badoer-style in the last few years, in this era of no in-season testing?

    Oh yeah, and Timo Glock never drove for Toyota?

    On a more serious note, I know that neither Timo nor Kamui had a decent chance with a fast car, but then again, neither did Sutil, so where’s a problem? Except in personal taste and preference, but that shouldn’t be used as an argument fact.

  8. montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 28th February 2013, 1:05

    Disagree with COTD on most counts. Green and Paffett really?!?!?! Can I ask what are you smoking @Clay ? I’d sure like some of that. Talk about wild suggestions out of sync with reality…

    Sutil lost to anyone with talent? Factually untrue, he beat Di Resta, who’s the current FI driver. He beat Liuzzi as well. Against Fisichella it was pretty even, with slight advantage to Fisi. In 2010-11 when the car was finally a midfielder rather than a backmarker he finished half his starts in the points. In the cut-throat battle of the midfield Force India need a driver who they know can bring lots of points. Not someone unproven and erratic as Bianchi who ever since he finished in F3 was busy crashing into people. So in fact Force India, did the right choice, precisely what you’d asked of them:selected the driver based on proven talent to score points-and by that get more money. Oh, and by the way Sutil is a proven great wet weather driver- and that’s when a team like Force India can get lots of points

    The only thing I agree with you on is Kobayashi. Him and Glock were the only better choices available IMO. But apparently “Attack the Japanese hard for support” is easier said than done, and Glock doesn’t bring any money either. Force India could’ve done much much worse than Sutil

    • Eoin (@eoin16) said on 28th February 2013, 1:17

      Be careful about using the term “cut-throat” when talking about Sutil! :)

    • mantresx (@mantresx) said on 28th February 2013, 1:29

      You’re right, everyone seems annoyed that Sutil got the seat but FI are only doing what’s best for them not what the fans want, a rookie or a driver that’s been with them for 5 years?? If you really want to beat Sauber and Williams the answer is simple.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 28th February 2013, 1:46

        @mantresx Yep, don’t understand some fans’ obsession with “giving new guys a chance”. I don’t mind that, once they’ve proven they deserve it. Bianchi hasn’t proven anything. He has potential, but potential doesn’t bring positions for a midfield team. Points do that

        • MaroonJack (@maroonjack) said on 28th February 2013, 7:24

          How can he prove anything, if he’s not allowed to race? His career summary shows that he’s a good driver. Sutil’s career summary shows that he’s mediocre.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 28th February 2013, 12:45

            @maroonjack Bianchi’s career doesn’t show that he’s a better driver than Sutil. it only proves that he’s erratic and inconsistent, but potentially fast, if he changes his approach. Sutil is a proven points scorer in F1 who is very consistent. As a midfield team who need points which one would you choose?

            Also, hasn’t been given a chance?! He has been given many chances by Force India to prove he’s better than Sutil, and apparently he failed. But of course you’re smart and they’re stupid

        • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 28th February 2013, 7:37

          It’s because we are looking for the next Senna or Schumacher to apprar on the grid. And if the midfield and backmarker seats are all taken by medium grade and pay drivers, it’s boring. Much more exciting to see a new driver do surprisingly well in a midfield car and then get snapped up one of the front-end teams the next season.

          • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 28th February 2013, 13:07

            @timothykatz Fair enough, but looking for next Senna or Schumacher must involve logic and not lashing out blindly for new drivers on the grid(not saying that you do that, but some do). Nothing about Bianchi says that he’s the new Senna/Vettel etc. Look at my post above, I’d said that there already

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 28th February 2013, 2:27

        I think people are getting wrapped up in an almost STR-state of “if you don’t show you’re world class in 3 years, you’re out” kind of way. Not all 22 drivers can be top driver quality. Solid (albeit unspectacular), consistent drivers have their place in F1 too and should be able to have decently long careers as well.

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 28th February 2013, 2:28

          I think people are getting wrapped up in an almost STR-state of “if you don’t show you’re world class in 3 years, you’re out”. Not all 22 drivers can be top driver quality. Solid (albeit unspectacular), consistent drivers have their place in F1 too and should be able to have decently long careers as well.

          • Avenger said on 28th February 2013, 6:17

            @david-a Completely agree with u.People do sometimes forget that experience can make a driver better.Look at Jenson Button,he was an under achiever for a long time until the day he got into championship worthy car which was the Brawn.

    • Bob (@bobthevulcan) said on 28th February 2013, 8:45

      I disagree. While he has admittedly had some flashes of good performance, Sutil has, in my opinion, never been a particularly impressive driver. For instance, the example you gave of him beating di Resta in 2010 should be put into context – di Resta was in his rookie year, while Sutil had by that point been with the team (and had experience with their cars) for 4 years.

      • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 28th February 2013, 13:19

        @bobthevulcan I never said Sutil was top drawer or anything like that. But as of Feb. 2013 for the Force India team, he’s the best option from those who were available apart from KK and TG who were never in the frame. Certainly better than Bianchi, unless Bianchi came up with a much better financial package. Apparently he didn’t

    • Can I ask what are you smoking @Clay ?

      Crack. Clearly

  9. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 28th February 2013, 1:43

    I don’t understand the hype around Kobayashi; a few great overtaking moves early in his career had everyone jump on his bandwagon, a wagon of which many refused to jump off when he was clearly shown to be nothing but an average driver. He wasn’t that great against a nearly 40 year old Pedro de la Rosa; Heidfeld was evenly matched with him in the final four races they raced together; and a younger, far more rapidly rising Perez outshone him in his two years with Sauber. Hell, even in 2011, a rookie Perez only participated in 17 races, not taking part in Monaco and Canada. If we only take the 17 GP’s where Kobayashi and Perez were teammates, they would have finished the season on equal points.

    He’s a fun driver to watch, and a genuinely nice guy, but I feel absolutely no reason to believe why he should deserve that Force India seat any more than Sutil; who actually stayed dedicated and worked hard with that very team for 5 years.

    Regarding Kamui – at least with that one podium at his home race in Suzuka, Japan, he can have an F1 career he can be proud of. Never really been a fan of him, but nonetheless, even if he can’t compete in F1, he will find some other racing series which he’ll hopefully enjoy.

    • That’s exactly my opinion about him.

    • Colossal Squid (@colossal-squid) said on 28th February 2013, 1:57

      He’s a fun driver to watch

      I’d prefer Kamui over Sutil for that reason alone. I generally agree with your assessment of Kobayashi’s talent. He’s an entertaining midfield scrapper but I think we’ve seen the height of his talents over the three full seasons he’s had.
      However, is Sutil a better option? Or Heidfeld more entertaining to watch? To both I would answer ‘no’. As a spectator and fan of F1 I would want to see an overtaker or someone unpredictable like Kobayashi on the track any day over a reliable vanilla racer like Sutil or Heidfeld.

    • montreal95 (@montreal95) said on 28th February 2013, 1:59

      @kingshark Kobayashi is a great overtaker. period. Not just “early in his career” as you claim. He beat Heidfeld, he beat De la Rosa too, despite your “not too great” claims. He wasn’t outshone by Perez. They were dead even. At least Kobayashi’s podium was from the front, not using tire strategy after messing up qualy like Perez. Also your argument about 17 races in 2011 is not valid- who says that in those 2 races Perez would’ve beaten Koba?

      And yes, I believe Kobayashi is a better driver than Sutil with more potential, certainly better than average. Fair enough of you to disagree of course but that’s what I(and many others whom you refer to as “hype”) think, and none of your arguments were convincing to the contrary

    • Victor. (@victor) said on 28th February 2013, 2:31

      +1. Kobayashi is fun occasionally, but overhyped. So though is Perez.

      Sutil on the other hand I used to underestimate – I think he is in with a shot of beating di Resta again.

    • sumedh said on 28th February 2013, 2:53

      Don’t forget Button and Webber were entertaining midfield drivers for a long long time. The moment they got a good car, they showed their mettle.

      Who is to say Kobayashi couldn’t be one of them?

      • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 28th February 2013, 6:44

        @montreal95
        I’m controversially split with most of what you said, but I definitely disagree with your assessment about Perez.

        In 2011, Perez’s rookie season, both him and Kobayashi scored 14 points in the races in which both participated in. This doesn’t include Monaco and Canada for Perez.

        2012. Perez scored 66 points against Kobayashi’s 60, 3 podiums against 1. Regarding your comment on Perez’s podiums; I don’t remember him being on any alternate strategy in Malaysia. He finished 2nd on merit alone there.

        In Canada Kobayashi and Perez were on identical strategies, as neither made Q3. Result? Perez on the podium and Kobayashi an abysmal 9th.

        In India, Kobayashi was on the exact same strategy as Perez was in Monza. He, unlike Checo, couldn’t do anything with the opportunity provided to him.

        Alternator strategy is a poor excuse IMO.

        • Slr (@slr) said on 28th February 2013, 8:13

          @kingshark In Malaysia Sauber pitted Perez for full wets after lap 1 which got him into a podium position, despite this they did not do the same with Kobayashi. Kobayashi also had brake problems during the race which led to his eventual retirement. Also in Canada Sauber pitted Kobayashi well before they pitted Perez, so identical isn’t really the word I’d use even if they both did one stop.

          I personally don’t believe the gap between Kobayashi and Perez was that much, Perez was marginally better. If we are talking about how many big results they got, they both got roughly the same amount. I think Perez is slightly better because did get more out of the car on more occasions, but generally I think that Perez and Kobayashi are both great drivers and for one to go to McLaren with the other not being able to get a seat for 2013 isn’t right.

          Also going back to your first comment, I think it’s unreasonable to expect anyone to make an “old” driver look awful. If that driver is still in Formula One, then they still have something good to offer and to expect a rookie to outshine an experienced driver is not fair in my opinion. de la Rosa and Heidfeld have always been solid drivers.

          • Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 28th February 2013, 14:52

            @slr

            In Malaysia Sauber pitted Perez for full wets after lap 1 which got him into a podium position, despite this they did not do the same with Kobayashi.

            He already had a great qualifying, and had fought his way up to 6th before his first stop. Do you really think that without this early alternate strategy, Perez wouldn’t have been on the podium in Malaysia? His pace in the rain was much better than anyone else’s bar Alonso. Likewise, had he pitted for slicks on the same lap as Nando, he probably would’ve won.

            Also in Canada Sauber pitted Kobayashi well before they pitted Perez, so identical isn’t really the word I’d use even if they both did one stop.

            Because he couldn’t make his tyres last as long.

            I think Perez is slightly better because did get more out of the car on more occasions, but generally I think that Perez and Kobayashi are both great drivers and for one to go to McLaren with the other not being able to get a seat for 2013 isn’t right.

            That’s because he is four years younger, and has already achieved more in his F1 career despite that.
            Kobayashi’s impressive podium in Japan came too late, by this time, it was already all said and done for the future. Lastly, Kobayashi still proved himself to be an erratic driver in 2012, despite being in F1 since 2009. That’s not good, Perez also made mistakes, but he is the much younger of the two.

  10. I can’t say I really agree with the COTD. Although having a driver who can offset the lack of sponsorship with extra points sounds like a great idea, I don’t think that can be achieved with whats available. Adrian Sutil in my opinion is a solid driver who just happens to bring some sponsorship in as well. I highly doubt Kamui would be able to gather enough points to make up for the loss in sponsorship money, let alone outrace Sutil in equal race craft. Same applies to Heikki, and possibly Timo Glock as well. I do eventually want to see Bianchi in F1, but I don’t see that big of an issue of him being a reserve driver for one more year. Just give Di Resta one more chance to prove himself, and offload him if he loses for a third consecutive year in a row and replace him with Bianchi. You can also consider some drivers with sponsorship money, but I don’t think that would chance substantially. Bruno Senna doesn’t really appeal to me, but Petrov on the other hand would be an interesting choice. I felt he proved himself last season, and brings in money too. Is he better than Sutil? I don’t know…

  11. Nick.UK (@) said on 28th February 2013, 2:01

    That Red Bull competition story is pretty shocking. Remind me to never take part in any other their competitions…

  12. Emma_LN said on 28th February 2013, 2:13

    Issue for Sutil is that he spent 5 years at Force India, Had 1-2 stand-out drives yet never did anything to warrant any interest from any other team.

    If anyone saw any potential in him or thought he was someone for the future then someone would have shown interest in signing him yet nobody ever has. Hamilton pushed McLaren to sign him in 2008 but then ultimately went with Kovalainen having apparently not even give Sutil any consideration.

    The best the Force India has ever been was at Spa 2009 & while Fisichella was qualifying on pole & contending for the win, Where was Sutil? He was nowhere all weekend, Qualified 11th & finished 11th.

    People still bang on about that drive to 4th at Monaco in 2008, However it should be noted that he got there because he overtook several cars under waved yellows so according to the stewards would have been given a 25 second post race time penalty had he finished the race so he was never going to finish 4th.
    http://www.buzzinf1.co.uk/force-india-driver-would-not-have-scored-points/155

    The Steward Paul Gutjahr said “We would have had to give him a 25-second penalty, because he overtook three cars under yellow flags after the Alonso/Heidfeld collision on the hairpin.”

  13. Howard (@howard) said on 28th February 2013, 3:02

    This should be a make or break year for Pdr, if he can’t convincingly beat Sutil this year considering he’s got one up on Sutil regarding Pirelli tyres, than he should quit the sport.

    He doesn’t deserve any more chances.

  14. Jigar (@jpatzf1) said on 28th February 2013, 3:09

    What are Force India trying to accomplish with going back to Sutil? Even though he has more experience than Bianchi, he still isn’t consistent.

  15. Dev (@dev) said on 28th February 2013, 4:09

    i feel Merc guys must have told Force India that you can’t get Bianchi as long as you have our engine running in back.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th February 2013, 5:36

      @dev – There’s no way Mercedes would wield that kind of power, unless it was written into their contract. The team has been using Mercedes engines for some time now, and as they’ve never had to renew it, they’re obviously still on the original contract. There is simply no way Mercedes could have foreseen Jules Bianchi bidding for a seat with Force India, so they would not have been able to write a clause into the engine contract prohibiting Force India from taking Bianchi. The most they could do is offer a discount on engines in exchange for running an approved driver, but the team already meets that condition by having Paul di Resta in the team. If there was a further discount to gain by having a second Mercedes-approved driver in the other seat, Force India would have done it by now. So they can’t have told Force India that the price of their engines would go up if they took Bianchi, since they don’t own a stake in the team. And if they tried to block Bianchi, Bianchi would have a case to take to the FIA’s Contract Review Board.

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.