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Sutil to reach 100-race landmark at the Hungaroring
25 July 2013
This weekend will be 100 not out for Adrian Sutil, as he reaches a centenary of F1 race outings that stretches all the way back to his race début at the Australian Grand Prix in 2007.
"It's hard to believe how quickly time goes by!" he admitted. "It's a big milestone, for sure, but in the end it doesn't really change anything."
Sutil competed for a season with the Spyker F1 team before moving to Force India in 2008. However, his F1 career was interrupted in 2012 by an enforced hiatus stemming from legal troubles over an incident in a nightclub in Shanghai that saw him convicted for assault, and he's grateful that the team stood by him and allowed him to come back to F1 once the case was concluded.
"My goals remain the same as when I started my first event, and that's to win races," he said. "I still love the sport and I hope I can continue to drive these amazing cars for a long time."
For this weekend, the matter of tyres is very much on Sutil's mind. Although he and his team mate Paul di Resta along with test driver James Calado all had a chance to try out the new 2013 Pirelli compounds at last week's three-day Young Drivers Test at Silverstone, this will be the first opportunity that anyone has had to try them out in real race conditions making the weekend one big unknown as far as Sutil is concerned.
"It's difficult to say because it's the first race with a new tyre construction," he replied when asked what he thought his chances of a strong result were this weekend in Hungary. "The track is tight and we need to qualify well because there are not many opportunities to overtake."
Last year there wee just 19 successful overtaking moves during the race, compared with 23 for 2012's Monaco Grand Prix. The FIA has moved to add a second DRS activation zone for this weekend's race which will allow drivers to use their adjustable rear wings coming out of turn 1 as well as down the main straight, but Sutil pointed out that the nature of the Hungaroring was still going to make gaining places very hard work indeed.
"It's very tight and twisty and there are not many places where you can catch your breath, apart from the pit straight," he explained. "It's dusty, too, and the track takes a while to clean up on Friday during practice.
"We usually run with maximum downforce there because after Monaco it's the slowest circuit on the calendar."
Sutil might be feeling buoyed up by the comparison with Monaco, since he secured his season-best finish to date with fifth place in the principality and will be hopeful of doing at least the same again this weekend after a disappointing time of it in Germany that left both Force India cars out of the points for the first time since a wheel nut issue forced both cars into retirement at Malaysia.
Sutil and di Resta are working hard to maintain the team's fifth place in the F1 constructors championship ahead of McLaren and Toro Rosso, in the final race before the series takes the month of August off for the traditional mid-season break.
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