Regulars at F1B will know that last year, to spice up qualifying for myself, I added Force India to my malleable F1 fandom.
Honestly, it made Q1 much more interesting, for with the uber-rare exceptions such as Malaysia, Q1 isn’t all that interesting if you’re pulling for a Ferrari, McLaren or Red Bull.
(Point being, choose one of the new teams as your second favorite and you’ll find yourself with something to root for in Q1.)
I also, frankly, like Force India’s color scheme and actually think this year’s car is one of the better looking.
All that said, I’m not above reading between Adrian Sutil’s lines here and getting the point. And I respond to him: We get it! You didn’t make a single mistake while Lewis Hamilton was breathing down your next in Malaysia! Bully for you!
It’s all to be found at a Q and A at the official Formula 1 site, in which Sutil also pegs
Force India and Renault as the best of the rest.
First, though, the “mistake” answers:
Q: Adrian, it was an exciting race for youâ€¦
Adrian Sutil: Well at least over the 20 laps when I was fighting over P5 with Lewis (Hamilton). That was really exciting. The beginning was rather odd because there was nobody behind me and in front there was Robert Kubica and I couldnâ€™t really keep up with him. In the second stint I was able to get a bit closer to him, but there was really no way of catching up with him as my guess is he was about one-tenth faster per lap. It became a real race when Lewis showed up behind me. At the time the car was really good, and as I didnâ€™t make any mistakes, there wasnâ€™t a chance for him to get past, even though the McLaren is one of the fastest cars on the grid. I really, really enjoyed it!
Q: The fight with Hamilton earned you plenty of television airtime. Your team principal Dr Vijay Mallya must have been pleasedâ€¦
AS: Yes, it was really good. I think itâ€™s what the team deserves. To be considered as one of the teams to watch. As I said before, Lewis didnâ€™t have the chance to overtake unless I made a mistake, and obviously I didnâ€™t make any. I think he enjoyed our on-track battle as much as I did.
Seriously, mention it once, but twice? It’s a bit of overkill. Even Paul Charsley rates you (I just heard him say it on this week’s podcast), so don’t worry. Just go out and race, man.
Q: Do you think Force India and Renault will fight for P5 in the constructorsâ€™ championship?
AS: In general yes, as the results speak for themselves. At the moment, I would say that we are something in the range of one-tenth off their pace, but my second stint showed that I can catch up, even though itâ€™s harder to overtake. But we are constantly improving.
Q: Both Force Indias made it into Q3 on Saturday. Will that be the case for the rest of the season?
AS: I hope so. There are signs that it should be, especially when we head back to Europe. I would say that we will be consistent Q3 runners. We probably have to focus a little bit more on the start and see what is going on with the behaviour of the clutch. We are expecting some upgrades at some of the next races.
Q: You are one point ahead of Michael Schumacher in the standings. How does that feel?
AS: Not bad at all! Well, in general I would say that Mercedes are ahead of us and that he had a poor day on Sunday. But it is also good to see where we are – we can fight against the big teams and the big names. It is not easy, but possible. And we have to seize every chance there is.
If I were Adrian, I would definitely have a screen capture of the current standings, just in case things go south from here. Something to show the grandkids.
Sutil’s answer do lead us to the present “establishment” in F1, though. I wonder if everyone will agree:
A hair back:
Best of the next:
Don’t want to be with the new guys:
With the new guys, sorry:
The new guys:
This more or less follows the constructor standings, but not entirely.