Buoyed by his best performance and result of the season to-date last time out on home turf at the Nürburgring, a bullish Adrian Sutil has asserted that there are 'some good circuits coming up' for Force India over the next few races in F1 2011, and that the goal has to be to 'keep this momentum and score a lot more points'.
After qualifying a strong eighth for the German Grand Prix – only the second time he has made the Q3 top ten shoot-out in ten races this year – Sutil went on to race hard and well to clinch sixth place at the chequered flag the following day, comfortably seeing off the threat from the two Mercedes GP cars of countrymen Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher and roundly outpacing rookie team-mate Paul di Resta for good measure, having been shown up by the Scot rather too often in 2011.
Along the way, the 28-year-old also enjoyed tussles with Red Bull Racing star Mark Webber and McLaren-Mercedes ace Jenson Button, and he wound up as the best-placed driver on a two-stop strategy. It was, he reflects, a thoroughly satisfying afternoon's work.
“It was a great result,” Sutil enthused. “Of course, you have to make the right decisions in the race and do the right strategy, so it's not that easy, but in the end we really did everything perfectly. Everyone in the team deserved that result.
“We had a good tyre run on Friday and I was already quite sure that if it stayed dry, it would be a two-stop race. That was the key in the end. We discussed it together, and we went into the race aiming for a two-stop strategy – and that was probably the reason why I was sixth in the end. The tyres lasted very well for me, probably better than the Mercedes team, and that was why we managed to beat both of them.
“The pace was generally there; I was always pushing Nico Rosberg, and also the cars in front of him, [Felipe] Massa and [Sebastian] Vettel, were within my pace – a little bit faster, but it was not like the races before, when they were in a different world! That was already a good feeling, and I thought this could be a good race.
“When people pitted, I was up to fourth position. Webber came out behind me, [although] with new tyres on he was much faster and also on a different strategy. It was important for us to do a clever race as well, not push too much in certain situations.
“[Button] was pushing hard. I tried to hold him up as much as possible, but I had to lap a car – I think it was Timo Glock – and he let me by very late, so I had a bad exit out of the last corner and then there was a chance for Jenson to pass me. I think it was a fair manoeuvre. I couldn't really hold onto his pace – he was just a little bit faster. I was lucky that he had a failure on his car and I got the position back.
“I was always in the race. Everything was just much better; I had a good feeling with the car, I felt very comfortable and the pace improved a lot. Everything was really good from the start to the end.”