x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Adrian Sutil: 'no trophy for best finish of the year'

The Force India driver, who equalled his best finish of the year at Spa, tells Simon Arron about his Belgian GP.

Fifth place in Spa last weekend equalled your best finish of the year and you were also quickest of the six German drivers. "Yes, finally - but unfortunately there's no trophy for that." Did you expect more resistance from Michael Schumacher when you passed him? "Not really. I think he learned from his mistake in Hungary. At least, I hope he did ?"

You were first of the leading drivers to switch to intermediate tyres when it began to rain near the end of the race. Was that your call or the team's? "I was just having a think about it when the team came on the radio to call me in, so we were on the same wavelength. Spa is a very long circuit and some parts of it were still a bit too dry, so it was a difficult call. Coming in straight away was probably the safer option, but the guys who pitted one lap later didn't really lose out, so both strategies were more or less the same."

Force India has experimented with its F-duct, but you used it at Spa. How was that? "It's not easy to make the system work, but once it does it's very straightforward to operate. There's no magic - you just stick your hand over a hole in the side of the cockpit. It's a bit tricky sometimes, though, because you have to drive [nearly] one-handed through some of the quickest corners." You were competitive at both Spa and Monza last year. How do you think you will perform in Italy?

"We have good straight-line speed and the car rides the chicane kerbs very well." sports@thenational.ae