A strange event occurred today at the Italian Grand Prix. Adrian Sutil managed a race long battle with flying Fin Kimi Raikkonen, actually managing to finish the Grand Prix still pointing all four wheels in the right direction!
The young German driver widely regarded in his short career as a promising yet average competitor showed the determination behind the wheel of a formula 1 car that is required to sustain a longer career.
Such a competitive edge has rarely been seen in the driver due mostly to his incapability to compete at the highest level. This obviously has been due in part mainly to his drives in back-end cars. Yet we know that the racer is there.
It was somewhat disheartening in Spa to see his now ex team mate score Force India’s first points and podium finish. Especially when you consider that if it had not been for Kimi Raikkonen’s previously destructive Ferrari, Adrian would have achieved that accolade months before his more experienced partner. All can remember the heartbreak portrayed on the young German when Kimi’s Ferrari pummelled into the back of a points position holding Sutil in the Monaco Grand Prix of last season.
This being at a time when such a result for a minnow team was seemingly light years away.
The aftermath of Giancarlo Fisichella’s move to Ferrari however has now left Adrian to take the vastly improved Force India team to new and unexpected heights. He is now the number one driver. He has the opportunity to rewrite the history books.
His inexperience in Formula 1 has shown at times with miniscule mistakes inventing larger repercussions, yet here is a driver who is on the charge. Here is a driver who many expect to only increase in pace and control in future races and seasons.
His slightly improved confidence was evident to see in his post race interview where he discussed the merits of his race performance and his ability to finish a battle with Kimi unscathed. Also his cheeky reply when congratulated by an unknown beauty in his post race analysis highlighted his renewed excitement that had been etched into him. When asked if he knew the woman he simply responded ‘not yet.’
So now, as the season heads to Singapore and the final four races of the season Adrian will look to further build upon his impressive Monza performance.
Maybe he will go one step further than Fisichella and take the top step of the podium. He certainly has the speed to achieve such a result when reflecting on today’s marvellous attack on Kimi Raikkonen. Kimi had no time to relax or take his foot off the throttle. If not for his Kers system boosting his start and exits from corners the Force India would have walked all over him.
Adrian Sutil is a future talent in waiting. It just remains to be seen how much of an elevation his team will give him with his car for the remainder of this season and follow up seasons if he was to remain at Force India.
Otherwise we can hopefully see Adrian climbing the ladder of opportunity into bigger and better drives.