Adrian Sutil is delighted to be back on the F1 grid after a year spent on the sidelines.
The German returned to Force India – for whom he has driven through its various iterations since 2007 – after missing out on an F1 drive in 2012.
The 30-year-old has worked hard to rebuild a reputation badly damaged after he was found guilty of a grievous bodily harm charge following an assault on Genii Capital manager Eric Lux at a Shanghai nightclub in 2011.
But now he’s back more motivated than ever and eager to achieve big results with the Silverstone-based team.
“Yes, it is [a relief],” he told us on the red carpet at today’s Australian Grand Prix Breakfast event.
“It was a very late call to get the seat, and I was waiting quite a long time for what was ultimately the final vacant seat on the grid. I’m very excited to be here; it’s my sixth time in Melbourne and I have plenty of work to do.
“The target for the future is to win. We have to make everything possible to achieve this goal. We have strong competitors, but we have to believe in ourselves.
“Realistically, we have to see where we are right now. It’s difficult to say, but I think we can be the fifth-strongest team, so getting into Q3 should be our target so we can score plenty of points. I think a top-six finish is possible if the conditions are right.”