Sutil pleased with 2013 despite “carrot” car

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Adrian Sutil has said that he believes he has done a good job in 2013 given the challenges posed by the Force India car during the second half of the season that prompted him to call the VJM06 a “carrot”.

The German driver returned to Formula One in 2013 after a one year break, but he showed no signs of rustiness by temporarily leading the opening race of the season in Australia. However, following Pirelli’s decision to change the construction of its tires from the German Grand Prix onwards, Force India struggled and picked up just a handful of points across the second half of the season. Given these issues, Sutil is pleased with his displays.

“I think I did a good job,” Sutil explained to Auto Motor und Sport. “Maybe a slight error here and there, but overall it was fine.

“We have thrown away many good results by bad luck, other drivers or by the botched pit stops at the beginning of the year. This is something I’ve never experienced.  The car was really strong in the beginning. But this is also a problem for smaller teams: if the chance is suddenly there, then you have to take it.”

Sutil explained that the car was difficult to work with, prompting him to dub it a “carrot” due to the team’s orange livery.

“We had every problem that you can have: understeer, oversteer,  in slow corners, fast corners. You could not do much by making adjustments in the cockpit. Ultimately, the car is simply a carrot. Simply nothing works.”

Sutil is without a confirmed drive for 2014, but the management at Force India is thought to be considering a complete change of line-up for next season by re-signing Nico Hulkenberg and drafting in Sergio Perez following his release from McLaren.

IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama final practice report

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Will Power posted the fastest lap in the third practice session for the Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. with a speed of 122.953 mph.

Rookie Robert Wickens (122.552 mph) was second fast, foretelling a continuation of his incredible rookie season.

Scott Dixon (122.237), Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.231) and Alexander Rossi (122.106) rounded out the top five.

The practice was interrupted several times for incidents. 

Ed Jones spun off track in turn five after locking up his brakes with 30 minutes remaining in practice three. He was able to drive back to the pits under his own power.

With 20 minutes still on the clock, Jordan King took a trip into the fence after posting a fastest lap of 121.753 mph. He sustained substantial left side damage to his car and came back to the pits on the hook.

“I’m annoyed really,” King said afterward on the live stream at IndyCar.com. “I slightly locked the inside front, then just stayed off onto the grass and that was it. But I wasn’t really even pushing that hard.”

With two minutes remaining, Charlie Kimball lost power and pulled off the track, bringing an end to the practice session.

Dixon also had an off-road excursion.