Having previously expressed that the Force India team had “lost ground” to its competitors, Adrian Sutil certainly won’t be a top-shelf suggestion as a motivational speaker anytime soon, with the German now conceding that the squad will in all likelihood lose sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship standings to Williams.
The Silverstone-based squad holds a slender two-point advantage over Williams with just three races to go, while Sutil has been overtaken by Michael Schumacher for ninth place in the Drivers’ Championship and sits just six points clear of eleventh-placed Rubens Barrichello.
With this in mind, an interesting fact is that, from Valencia onwards, Williams has outscored Force India by 50 points to 25. And after qualifying 15th and 17th at the last round in Japan, Force India’s fall from grace – when you consider they were regular top-ten runners at the start of the season – is very apparent.
The team’s cause has not been helped by the technical ‘brain drain’ is has suffered of late, with the outfit hiring its fourth technical director in as many years, following the departures of former heads Mike Gascoyne (to Lotus), James Key (Sauber) and Mark Smith (Lotus). Other key staff have also jumped ship to other teams, with the perception doing the rounds that the remuneration at Force India isn’t particularly competitive.
Speaking with Auto Motor und Sport, Sutil said: “Rubens is getting dangerous, and the Williams car is currently a lot better than ours.
“I do not expect our pace [at Korea] to be much better or worse than recently,” he added.
Sutil has also been the subject of much speculation that he may not stay on with Force India, having been tipped as a possible contender at either Mercedes GP or Renault for 2011.
And with there being three potential candidates at Force India next season – with Sutil seemingly being considered alongside team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi and the team’s impressive test driver, Paul di Resta – the German isn’t ruling himself in or out.
When asked if he had considered his options for staying at Force India, he replied: “Not yet. It’s harder than I thought.
“It’s not just thinking about next year – you also need to look further ahead.”
[Original image via LAT]
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