• Second Barcelona Test, Day Two

Sutil unconcerned despite year out

ESPN Staff
March 1, 2013 « Live F1 testing from Barcelona | Bianchi replaces Razia at Marussia »
Adrian Sutil finished sixth on his first day in the Force India as a confirmed race driver © Sutton Images
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Force India's Adrian Sutil believes a year on the sidelines will not affect his performances ahead of the 2013 season.

Sutil was replaced at Force India by compatriot Nico Hulkenburg for 2012 following an incident in a Shanghai nightclub with Lotus co-owner Eric Lux in 2011, but was re-confirmed at the team on Wednesday after a prolonged battle with Jules Bianchi for the second seat alongside Paul di Resta. Sutil said just one year out would not be a hindrance, pointing to Kimi Raikkonen's return in 2012 as proof a driver can be quickly back in the groove.

"Just one year out of racing ... I think Kimi is the best example [of returning to Formula One after an extended break]," Sutil said. "He was the most consistent driver in the whole field last year and had two years of a break, so ... any questions?!"

He also said he was not concerned despite having missed three days of testing due to Force India's delay in making a driver decision.

"No, of course [it wasn't ideal], but on the other hand I have five years experience of driving in Formula One, so I really got back into it straight away. It's something you don't quickly don't forget so quickly if you've done it a long time.

"I'm happy to be confirmed now and have clarity so I can concentrate on the first few races and I'm looking forward to them."

Sutil was also confident of his chances to beat team-mate di Resta over the course of the season.

"I was ahead of him [in 2011]; I was ahead of him in the championship - I was ninth and he was 12th or 13th - that's the bottom line. What can I say more? My goal is of course to do better than ninth position, not only concentrated on my team-mate, I know he's a strong driver but I showed that I am a very strong driver as well so nothing to be worried about."

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