Previous F1 Teams:
- 2006 Midland MF1/Spyker (test driving)
- 2007 Spyker
- 2008 Force India
Adrian Sutil has the distinctive background for the F1 world of not only not racing in go-karts as a small child, but in having had a first career as a concert pianist. His parents are professional musicians, and he began playing piano at four and performed in public. His life seemed set until he discovered go-karting at 14 and never looked back. In the Swiss Formula Ford championship in 2002, his first car racing series, he won every race, also starting from pole position in every race. In the F3 Euroseries in 2005 he finished second, behind his teammate, Lewis Hamilton. He won the Japanese F3 series in 2006.
His Career Thus Far:
In his first year in F3, in 2004, Adrian raced at Team Kolles, and the association would help when the team owner, Colin Kolles, became the director of the Jordan Formula 1 team the following year after it was bought by Midland. In 2006 Adrian was invited to drive the car during Friday test sessions at three of the races, and he promptly impressed by setting times not only faster than the regular F1 drivers on the team, but faster than most of the rest of the drivers in the series as well. It was far above the performance that the car was supposedly capable of delivering.
Adrian was hired as a full-time driver for the 2007, and while the team struggled, he managed at the start of the season to set faster times than his teammate, the more experienced Christijan Albers. Unfortunately, however, Adrian made several mistakes leading to penalties and minor accidents. In his first three races, he was involved in an accident on the first lap of each of the races.
After the 2007 season, Adrian's name was heard in conjunction with other teams, but in the end he stayed with the team he had raced with from the beginning of his F1 career, a team that is now called Force India. Some critics suggested that Adrian's reputation suffered by not entirely dominating Sakon Yamamoto in the second part of the year, even if Adrian did succeed in scoring a point at the Japanese Grand Prix.
In 2008 Giancarlo Fisichella joined as Adrian's teammate, and again Adrian was overshadowed. But Adrian's performance at the Monaco Grand Prix was exceptional. He was in fourth position when nine laps from the end, Kimi Raikkonen ran him out of the race with his Ferrari.
Adrian is fast, there is no doubt. His former F3 teammate, Lewis Hamilton, predicted before his first season in F1 that he would give Albers a hard time. This has come true. However, in his first year with a car that is not a winning machine, he will have to control his desire to work miracles, as in F1 that usually leads to accidents or mistakes.
Adrian's disadvantage of being at a weak team could turn out to be an advantage, if he accepts his situation and uses his time at Force India as a learning experience. After he was crushed by his teammate, Hamilton, in F3, he won the Japanese F3 championship, proving that he was able to take the blows, recuperate and emerge victorious. After a less than spectacular 2007, he will again have to prove his worth in 2008.