Adrian Sutil insists that Force India's VJM04 is the 'best car' he has had during his time in F1 as the German prepares for this weekend's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.
Sutil, who spent a year living in Japan during his time in F3, goes into this weekend's race on the back of three top ten finishes in the last five races – and has also qualified inside the top ten three times in the last five.
The German currently sits eleventh in the championship standings but is just six points behind Vitaly Petrov in ninth and he insisted that there was no reason why he couldn't fight for points to bring that gap down this weekend.
“I think so,” he replied when asked if the VJM04 is the best car he'll have had at Suzuka. “Last year we were strong at the beginning of the season and by the time we got to Suzuka it was not so easy for us. Based on the performance we have shown in the last four races, I think we can go to Japan thinking of scoring more points.
“I love Japan and I'm happy that we can go there after all the tragic events that happened at the start of the year. I think it's a good sign that we're going back there. And Suzuka is a great circuit, one that suits me very well. I like it and it's certainly one of my favourites. But I'm also looking forward to Korea, and of course India! There are some good circuits coming up.”
Team-mate Paul di Resta is also in positive mood heading to Japan, having scored a personal best of sixth last time out under the lights of Singapore.
That marked the third top ten finish in four races for the Scot, who sits just eight points behind his more experienced team-mate in the championship standings.
“I'm feeling very positive,” he said. “Things have really come together quite well in the middle part of the year and I think we've delivered as a team. In Singapore the upgrade package worked as we expected and contributed to the end result. That's a big credit to the team and we've all worked very hard to achieve these recent results.”
Di Resta added that the team was now focused on trying to get ahead of Renault in the constructors' championship before the end of the year, even though he admitted it would be far from an easy task.
“It's definitely achievable, but I think it will be a big ask unless we get quite a bit of luck along the way,” he said. “The key will be getting both cars in the points, but we've also seen that Renault look stronger on certain tracks. So we're aiming at catching them but well aware they still have quite a points advantage.”