Adrian Sutil looks back on Monaco
"It feels great. The last four races were very difficult"
After the frustrations of the previous four weekends, Adrian Sutil bounced back in Monaco to earn a superb fifth place for Sahara Force India. Along the way he passed former World Champions Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, but most importantly he brought the car safely home on one of the toughest weekends of the year. We asked him for his thoughts on the weekend.
Adrian, how satisfying is it to get a good result after so many disappointments?
“It feels great. The last four races were very difficult. I’ve seen the potential of the car, but it was just not enough. We had several issues, small problems. The speed was there, the pace was great, but to have a really good result we were just missing a little bit. I thought it was just a question of time. In Monaco we delivered, and it feels very good. I had no doubts, but it’s nice when you confirm it.”
The team was missing a little speed on Thursday, and then you crashed on Saturday morning. Were you a little frustrated, standing behind the barrier with a couple of hours to go to qualifying?
“Yes of course. I was hoping the team could repair the car immediately and they did very well, so I could start the qualifying without a delay. I just tried to settle my mind again – everything is possible, and especially in Monaco every session is a new game.”
Jenson Button passed you on the first lap. Where he did he manage that?
“He did a great move on the outside going onto Casino, up the hill after the start – in fact where I crashed in FP3 he passed me on the outside! There was not much I could do, it was a great move. Then I touched him a little bit in the hairpin, he was going so wide and then he came in and I thought, ‘Let’s try it.’ Then it was, ‘Oh, it’s going to be tight!’ Later on I showed that it was possible there. I had the feeling from the first lap onwards that at this corner there was a possibility to pass cars. I passed Jenson first, and then Alonso as well.”
Did everything go perfectly with the strategy?
“We just did one pit stop, but it worked well, and no problems really. Great teamwork. We had no issues and we really did our job.”
During the red flag delay you had a new nose fitted. Did that make a difference?
“I didn’t feel any difference so much, because the pace was so slow! Someone was always holding up the field, I don’t know who it was. Sometimes Alonso was really slow, and maybe others. There were just a few laps before my pit stop when I could push on, then I could feel the damage, definitely. We could repair it during the red flag, so the car was fine for the last sprint race.”
Did you have a big smile on your face as you picked up positions?
“It was good! Once I got through them all, and I passed Alonso and Button in the hairpin, I was seventh. I saw Perez had an issue on his car after the issue with Raikkonen, and that really opened up a big opportunity for him, until he made a mistake into Rascasse. And then I could pass him as well, and took fifth.”