Adrian Sutil says he is optimistic that Force India will be back on form this weekend as F1 returns to Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix.
After strong performances on the low-downforce circuits at Spa and Monza, the Mercedes-powered squad struggled in Singapore, with Sutil forced to retire following his collision with Nick Heidfeld and Tonio Liuzzi coming in at the rear of the field.
While Suzuka isn't a low-downforce circuit, the need for a strong engine could work in Force India's favour and Sutil said he was optimistic of a strong weekend for the Silverstone-based team.
“Suzuka is high downforce, but also you need a really good engine which is what we have with the Mercedes,” he said. “There are also two very long straights, so you need some kind of top speed. I would say it is not comparable with Spa, it is more downforce definitely, but I would say a mix of Spa and Silverstone, so it should suit us much better than the last one.
“I know the circuit quite well from my time in Formula Three here. A very nice circuit and in general one of my favourites. Very high speed. You need a lot of grip here, but also with the long straights it is good for racing in general. I have had some good races here and I am really happy to be back.”
Team-mate Tonio Liuzzi agreed that he expected Suzuka to be a better circuit for the VJM01 after his difficult weekend under lights in Singapore.
“I think for Suzuka we will be in better shape,” he said. “Singapore was a circuit where it's difficult to get the feeling back, because the concentration is so high, and you have to try and stay away from the walls. It's not a normal situation. But doing the whole race helped me a lot. I think we are getting close to my optimum speed.
“Now I think we are ready for Suzuka. I've been there once in 2006 and it's a circuit I like. I'm more optimistic for there, because the configuration for our car is somewhere in between Spa and Singapore, so we should be more competitive. This year has been a bit of a crazy year but we cannot complain because we had two good races, Spa and Monza, and there are tracks coming up that will suit us more as well.”