Adrian Sutil hungry for podium finishes at Sauber

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Six years into his Formula One career, Adrian Sutil has still not yet tasted champagne during an Formula One podium celebration. As he makes the switch from Force India to Sauber, the German is keen on changing that.

“I’m convinced that we will have a successful time – and I’m looking very much forward to my first podium,” Sutil said in a Q&A on F1’s official website. “Sauber have had some podiums in the past and that is exactly what I want.”

Lack of success getting into the Top 3 notwithstanding, Sutil has proven relatively reliable in gaining small chunks of points with the occasional big hauls such as his fifth-place run this year in Monaco.

However, while Sauber got more and more solid toward the end of 2013, the raft of changes coming to the cars in 2014 effectively wipes the slate clean. But Sutil said he simply needed new surroundings after spending his entire F1 life racing for the Force India/Spyker outfit.

“[Sauber and I] were in contact for a long time,” he said. “It had been my wish to have a change after six good years with Force India – and Sauber was my priority. My manager has been in contact with them since autumn – and around that time, I visited the factory in Hinwil [Switzerland] for the first time.”

Unconcerned about the matter of which teammate he would prefer at Sauber (“to be honest, I don’t care,” he says), Sutil also expressed his thanks to Force India for getting him back into the sport this past season following his 2012 conviction on aggravated assault charges.

“I have had a good and successful time with Force India,” he said of his now-former mates. “They gave me the chance to come back – and this fact will always have a special place in my heart.

“For sure, I will miss some of the guys there that have turned into friends over the years, but now I’m excited to be with my new team. Let’s see if it is true that new brooms sweep clean.”

Verstappen doesn’t want F1 season to end after recent run of form

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Max Verstappen says he is not ready for the 2017 Formula 1 season to come to an end after enjoying a run of strong form through the closing stages of the campaign.

Verstappen endured a rocky run of form through to the end of the European season that saw him suffer a number of reliability issues and score just a single podium finish, taking third in China back in April.

However, the Dutchman has rallied to score more points than any other driver in the last five races, including victories in Malaysia and Mexico, as well as a podium finish in Japan.

Verstappen heads into next weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix chasing a third win of the year to sign off, but joked he does not want the season to end just as he’s got into a good groove.

“We will, of course, try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi,” Verstappen said. “Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tires to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favorite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights.

“The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track.

“There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going.

“The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back into training before it all starts again.”