New Delhi: German Formula 1 driver Adrian Sutil is keen to make the most of his second innings at Sahara Force India, a team he feels has evolved during the time he was away from the sport. Following months of speculation, Force India last week announced that Sutil will partner British driver Paul di Resta for the 2013 season beginning in Melbourne March 17.
Though the driver decision took longer than expected, the battle was between Sutil and the team's 2012 reserve Jules Bianchi, who has now landed a drive at Marussia. The German said he had no idea what led to the delay but was always confident of returning to the team where he spent five seasons including the first one in 2007 when the Silverstone-based outfit was called Spyker.
"I don't know why Force India took that long to arrive at the decision. It probably shows that you are never there in F1 until you are there," Sutil told IANS from Mumbai Friday. Asked whether it was natural for him to return with Force India, Sutil said: "In the beginning, I was talking to other teams as I did not see Nico (Hulkenberg) leaving the team. But when he decided to switch to Sauber, I thought things could work out."
The 30-year-old has already shown promise ahead of the season. He clocked the second fastest time in one of the sessions during the pre-season testing in Barcelona last week. "I felt really good about the car right after I did the first lap. The car probably needs a bit more downforce but it surely has the potential to do better than last year," said Sutil. Force India finished seventh in the 2012 Constructors' Championship and had a podium chance in Brazil, where Hulkenberg led the race until an error put him down in fifth.
Sutil said the one year break from the sport gave him time for other things, including a television stint in Germany. "It was good to be away. I got to spend time with family and girlfriend. Working on TV was a lot of fun, but nothing compared to racing," said Sutil adding that he has moved on from the infamous incident that took place during the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix when he was fined 200,000 euros for grievous bodily harm after he hurt Genii Captial CEO Eric Lux with a champagne glass.