Sutil: Lack of testing 'a bit weird'
Adrian Sutil says it's difficult for today's F1 drivers to unlock their true potential due to the limited amount of in-season testing between race weekends.
This season has seen the inclusion of four two-day in-season sessions taking place on the Tuesday and Wednesday after races, ending a blanket ban on such tests since the end of 2008. Despite these testing rules being relaxed Sutil believes drivers are still missing out by not having the chance to accumulate greater mileage.
"We spend more time in the simulator - well not me, I spend time on my Playstation!" Sutil said. "This is what I get paid for, it's half of my time, so it's a bit weird. You should drive more. I remember when we had tyre testing, we had so many new sets and compounds to evaluate and so more material. It was more expensive but for a driver it was really, really nice."
Sutil feels the lack of in-season testing is especially tough on rookies.
"It would be nice," Sutil said when asked how he would feel about more in-season testing. "Sometimes I think we are definitely not driving enough, it's just from race to race. You have a set of soft, a set of hard, and that's it, then you go do a few more laps in qualifying and that's it. Now you have just one chance and you have to deliver.
"Especially for a rookie, I don't think it's the right way. Sometimes I don't think you then have the strongest driver, or at least where they should be. If you make one mistake this is it, no other chances, but maybe you just had a wrong day. It's very hard to know where you are because one little mistake and this is the measurement for everyone, but maybe the next day you would do it a little different and a lot faster."
Sutil believes the new era of F1 was made even more difficult by the lack of testing available to drivers.
"I still enjoy it. There are changes over the years; some you like, some you don't like. But from a driver point of view you are most happy when you drive and you can test and get to know the car really well.
"It's quite difficult in Formula One right now especially after the winter test; you have three or four days with these kind of cars and then you have to deliver. Then you make mistakes in the race and you are not good enough, so it's a tricky situation - it would be nice to drive more."