Adrian Sutil says he is excited about the prospect of stepping into his new car for the first time this week after Sauber launched the new C33 in an online event prior to the opening test of the year at Jerez.
Having spent his entire F1 career to date with Force India, in its various guises, the German moves to pastures new for 2014 having inked a deal to partner Esteban Gutierrez.
Speaking ahead of his first outing in the car, Sutil admitted he couldn't wait to get out on track having spent recent months working alongside his new team at its Hinwil base with his aim being to try and improve on the ninth place championship finish he secured back in 2011.
“We are now at the end of January and we are close to the first test, I'm very excited to see how it will be, because no one really knows what the car is going to be like to drive on a circuit,” he said. “There is a new era now with new engines and new cars. So I'm really exited and looking forward to stepping into a real new race car with a new team.
“I've spent a lot of time in the factory - as much as possible - and it was good to start quite early and to be announced mid December. That's early enough to prepare and there are a lot of things to go through, especially with a new team and new people; I have to remember all the new faces. And there still is a lot of work to do. The preparation is going well, the seat fitting was fine, I feel comfortable and am ready to roll out for the first test.
“I always try to improve. My best season was 2011, I finished ninth in the championship, so my realistic target would be to be better then ninth. But it's very early and it's always hard to make any predictions for the season. So let's see what will happen. We have a lot of work to do and I'm confident. We want to maximise our package as a team and that's the most important thing.”
Sutil added that one of his main focuses over the winter had been on trying to lose weight ahead of the new campaign, with teams facing a battle to get down to the minimum weight required under the new regulations.
“On the technical side there are a lot of things to learn,” he said. “That's why the time in the factory now is quite important. There are so many new things regarding the engine and the fuel management, which I think is one of the most difficult things for the new season. And it's good to get to know as much as possible. We also haven't used brake-by-wire before.
“But there is also a lot of (fitness) training going on, as usual. However, I am more focussed on losing weight. I'm a tall driver and I was always on the limit with the weight, but now I have to drop the last few kilos, so I'm on it already and this time haven't eaten too much over Christmas and New Year!”