- 2010 Season
Force India at advantage in cheaper F1 - Sutil
Adrian Sutil believes Formula One's cost-cutting drive in 2010 will put his Force India team at an advantage.
It is rumoured that budgets may be as low as US$70million (excluding engine development and salary costs) this year under the new resource restriction agreement drawn up by the FIA and the Formula One Teams' Association. Sutil thinks this will put Force India at an inherent advantage as its low operating costs mean it won't have to make cutbacks to the same extent as the bigger teams.
"What probably was a shortfall in the past is now turning into a big advantage for us right now, as we are used to working within a small budget and with less people," he told F1's official website. "We can fully concentrate on our development, as we used to do over the last few years, without having to shift energy into various downgrades. Other teams need to learn - probably painfully - how to work efficiently with less people and a reduced budget. That could take a little while and so 2010 could be a big opportunity for us."
He also revealed that Force India will skip the first group test at Valencia on February 1 in order to concentrate on developing the car for its debut at the second test in Jerez.
"The whole team is hard at work developing the best car possible and it looks very, very promising right now," he said. "For sure the new rules are a big challenge for everybody, so to make a clear statement about how good we have been in interpreting those new regulations we will have to wait until the test in Jerez, where I will drive the VJM3 for the first time."
Force India made impressive progress throughout its 2009 campaign, literally going from the back of the grid to the front when Giancarlo Fisichella secured pole at the Belgian Grand Prix. One of the reasons attributed to its success was the ban on in-season testing, which meant progress was dependant on work in the factory rather than racking up expensive mileage on track.