Adrian Sutil says he is looking ahead to the opening round of the new F1 season with optimism after two tests with the new Force India VJM04.
The German started testing with the 2010 VJM03 before the launch of the new car in time for the second pre-season test of the year at Jerez, with Sutil and team-mate Paul di Resta then putting more miles on the car during the third session of pre-season at Catalunya.
After his first taste of the car, Sutil said he was optimistic about the season ahead for the Silverstone-based team.
“The car feels good, and we've been able to run a lot of mileage and have been able to successfully complete our programme,” he told the official Formula 1 website. “KERS and the moveable rear wing works very well so I look ahead towards the first races quite optimistically.
“What 'optimistically' means in terms of the 2011 pecking order I cannot say right here right now. That question will be answered in Melbourne or at the latest in Sepang, as Melbourne is a bit of a special track that in the past has always produced unpredictable results.”
Sutil enjoyed his best season in F1 to date last year to finish just outside the top ten in the championship standings and he said he was keen to try and better than performance in 2011 despite the strength of the grid for the year ahead.
“To be honest I was quite satisfied with 2010,” he said. “I quite often finished in the top ten and was fighting with the Mercedes for P9 in the drivers' championship. Having said that, it would be a bit delicious to expect better results. If I manage again to fight among the top ten I would call it a good season.
“Under normal circumstances the first eight places are usually occupied by the four top teams, Red Bull Racing, Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes. Then you have Renault, Williams, Sauber and Toro Rosso that have to be beaten first, so the season ahead can hardly be called a self-seller for us. But believe me I will do anything to make it one.”