Adrian Sutil has played down the length of time it may take him to get back up to speed with the cut and thrust of Formula 1 by pointing to the example of Kimi Raikkonen last year as showing how quickly drivers can rediscover their old form.
The German driver, after weeks of speculation, was finally confirmed as Paul di Resta’s team-mate at Force India for the new season on Thursday and on Friday returned for his second outing in their 2013 car at Barcelona, completing 62 laps and recording the rain-hit day’s sixth-fastest time.
With just one day left in the VJM06, on Saturday, before Melbourne, Sutil will in total have had just three days back in an F1 car this winter since his last grand prix appearance in Brazil in November 2011.
However, asked if he envisaged having to go through a period of acclimatising to racing again during the opening flyaway rounds, a defiant Sutil responded: “I don’t think about problems, I look forward to the first races.
“I’m a positive person, not a negative person. If I only look on the problems and difficulties I get myself into a real problem.
“So I’m confident and just one year out of racing…I take Kimi as the best example. He was the most consistent driver in the whole field last year and had two years of break [from F1].”
Videos – past run-ins between Sutil and Raikkonen: