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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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

  1. JB (@) said on 28th February 2013, 6:25

    Disgusting new about Sutil…. He´s had his chance…

    About the RBR fiasco… they should be ashamed… 3 time WCC and they can´t afford or stand by what they offered?? That´s a complete disgrace….

  2. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 28th February 2013, 6:25

    I’d go for Kamui Kobayashi – 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?).

    The problem with this theory is that you’re assuming Sauber and/or Kobayashi didn’t lobby to the Japanese to get sponsorship. But they did try, and the Japanese weren’t interested – it’s why Kobayashi had to resort to getting fan donations.

  3. Have to completey disagree with the COTD here.

    Sutil has had his chance, and he has been slow when compared to anyone with talent.

    If you are talking about comparing him with his teammates, then the only driver he was slow comparitevly could be Fisichella. However, both were closely matched during the two years they raced each other. The only standout drive was the 2009 belgium grand prix where Fisi did show great pace and outscored him by 3 points by the end of the season.

    I’d go for Kamui Kobayashi – he is awesome.

    Seriously, thats the reason why FI or any team should take Kobayashi? Jus because he was awesome. In a midfield team, where consistency is important, Kobayshi had flashes of briilance. Nice guy with a likeable personality. But thats not what gets points in the championship. And thats why he was dropped from Sauber.

    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.

    Thats a good laugh.

    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?

    And that is why they called Sutil. Rubens and Ralf both have immense experience as race drivers unlike Sutil. But like Sutil, they are dependable and can be consistent. Why not get a driver who is young and knows the team wel? And if the same driver can get a good engine deal with decent sponsors, why not!

    Jus few weeks ago, fans were moaning the fact that there are lot of pay drivers with less talent in F1 now and drivers like Kovalainen, Glock, Kobayshi and even Sutil missed out. Now when one of them has a chance to be back, fans feels thats wrong. Its true that the fans are the reason why the sport is so successful but we tend to believe that our opinion should a criteria when teams decide their driver. Just like other teams in the grid, F1 is a business venture for SFI as they are investing their money, so if they choose a driver whom they trust as a proven points, then so be it.

  4. Girts (@girts) said on 28th February 2013, 7:00

    I don’t get the COTD. It’s OK to think that Sutil is not the best choice but the author of the COTD claims that:

    1) Sutil should be replaced by Kobayashi, who has spent more than 3 years in F1 and got beaten by the less experienced Perez last year. That obviously makes one conclude that Kobayashi is fast and not had his chance yet.
    2) FI should try to get more cash through better results so they should take Kobayashi, who might bring cheap Honda engines with him
    3) Ralf Schumacher would be a better option than Sutil. I’m sorry but this just doesn’t make any sense. Schumacher was hopeless the last time he drove an F1 car and is hopeless in DTM now so you expect him to do better than Sutil in F1 after 5 years of absence?

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th February 2013, 7:26

    Strange with the headline in the BBC article. I was surprised by that one, because only yesterday I read GeniI owner Lopez quoted as saying that they had made it clear to Grosjean, that they want him in for a long term, and that he should not worry about pressure to perform immediately.

    After reading the interview at the BBC site, its clear that that is exactly what the Enstone team want, and that they went to great detail in discussion with RoGro to help him get over his problems:

    “The complexity of the Romain case was it was not [only] because he was over-aggressive. That was one of the reasons why he had a couple of contacts.”
    Boullier feels the decision by Renault to drop Grosjean at the end of his first half-season in F1 during 2009 has affected the 26-year-old.
    “His past experience was a trauma for him and he wanted to show everyone he had his place,” he said.
    “He is talented enough to be in F1, so he also put some extra unnecessary pressure on himself. There were many other reasons.

    From the opening of the BBC piece its pretty clear that they were fishing for this headline, but its not really what captures how the team feels about their driver:

    Asked whether this season was Grosjean’s last chance, Boullier said: “Well, it’s not his last chance.
    “But F1 is a tough world and obviously we definitely cannot afford to have another year like last year.”

    so I must say the article is far more informative than its headline suggests. Thanks for the pick Keith.

  6. BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th February 2013, 8:15

    let my try: happy birthday to all of you Bastardo, Kevin and Lame2741

  7. BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th February 2013, 8:16

    Indeed it would @david-a, just tried it! But a happy birthday to all of you guys anyway.

  8. spide (@spide) said on 28th February 2013, 8:20

    each and evry force india fan will be delighted with this news.. im sure..

  9. Denis 68 said on 28th February 2013, 10:48

    If Sutil gets the Force India Drive where does this leave Bianchi?

    Surely at his age he cannot afford another season of non racing, testing is just not the same thing. Maybe he needs to go back to GP2 or WSR 3.5 and actually win one of those titles.

    Further more where does this leave the Ferrari Driver Academy? Clearly the best driver to emerge from the FDA is Sergio Perez who couldn’t leave this institution fast enough, Destination McLaren as Mr Di Montezemolo said he was not ready for a top drive not withstanding the fact that Ferrari continue with one of the most underperfroming drivers the sport has ever seen in Massa.

  10. MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 28th February 2013, 11:21

    They’ll obviously have found a way around this, but I’m surprised that Sutil is allowed to travel around the world under the conditions of his probation. Being tied to one country is generally one of the most basic requirements.

  11. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 28th February 2013, 12:47

    I honestly don’t understand all this dreariness with regard to the return of Sutil. We should be celebrating the return of some true talent to the sport. In 2011, he really impressed me. In my opinion he did the best job of the mid-pack drivers. His consistency, qualifying speed and ability to extract the maximum from the car made him, in my opinion, the favourite to replace Schumacher at Mercedes. However, his performance was somewhat blotted out by the blind patriotism that comes with having a hopeful new British talent, and the crave for another Lewis Hamilton. Let’s not get bogged down by the rather underwhelming nature of his career statistics, because Sutil had one race, namely the 2009 Italian GP, where he had a car good enough for the front row, and where was he; the front row. I know I’m going to have my tongue bitten out for saying this but I really think Sutil is better than KK, and I fully expect him to outscore Di Resta this year. End of. Kobayashi was not “awesome”, as the COTD suggests, he was a quick but inconsistent driver kept afloat by the deluded patriotism of Japanese fans. Not get me wrong, his departure is a loss to F1, but it is not on the same planet as the sheer tragedy of loosing Heikki Kovalainen. I know this is all rather subjective, but name me a scenario where Sutil had a car good enough to qualify well and then ruined it with a poor start/mistake? I can’t, but if it was Kobayashi I could say Canada ’11, Japan ’11, China ’12… So there you have it, an alternative perspective; now shoot me down in flames…

  12. BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th February 2013, 17:00

    here’s an interesting and thought provoking blog post by Will Buxton, about upcoming drivers, pay drivers/championships and what to do with the motorsport ladder to F1

  13. Maybe Force India should’ve nabbed Sebastien Loeb…

  14. andae23 (@andae23) said on 28th February 2013, 21:51

    What a fantastic piece on F1 Framework! It was one of the things that I was really curious about and I’m very excited to have read that article. I was surprised at how simple the program looks and how few parameters are actually taken into account. I’m curious to know if they add noise to the lap times to simulate longer stints, which would make sense: not every lap can have the perfect fuel consumption and perfect tyre deg. But as I said: it looks like a very simple code, even Matlab-like!

  15. I guess Every One Should Get a second chance. Even Michael Schumacher got one. I don’t think that Sutil showed his potential till now. He will be ready to proved everyone with his perfromance. Including the ones who comments against him. Best wishes.

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