Sutil: Way more to learn about the car, and the form book, for 2014

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Sauber’s Adrian Sutil, who shifts away from his familiar confines of Force India for 2014, has admitted he still has a lot to learn about his team’s new car and has no idea how the form book will shake out for the upcoming Formula One season.

“We work well together, that is for sure – but don’t forget it is only a bit over two months (that we’ve been working together) so the ‘getting to know’ phase is still going on,” the German admitted in a Q&A with the official F1 website.

“We had some issues with the power train and had to change the engine,” he said of the team’s most recent Bahrain test. “As this is a rather difficult and time consuming matter, it was not possible to go out any more. But at least now we know how long it requires to change an engine under time pressure.”

Give Sutil some points up front for honesty about the car’s situation, and additionally for his take on how the Australian Grand Prix will shake out. Like most everyone else, he has no idea.

“How would I know? It’s all in the flow,” he said. “It might turn out to be a fantastic race or a rather dull one with only a few cars finishing. Whatever people say or believe now, it very likely will turn out differently to what the so-called experts predict.”

Asked whether he thinks he feels prepared for Melbourne, Sutil replied, “No. But I would be surprised if anybody in the paddock would say that he is – I wouldn’t believe them! We will be learning something with every race. My prediction is that the whole season will be a game of trial and error.”

Sutil will enter his seventh F1 season with more time under his belt at Sauber than last year, when he returned to Force India after a year’s hiatus only a few weeks before Melbourne. Still, he’s under no illusions about the enormity of this year’s season, with all the new elements he and the rest of the grid will be dealing with.

Formula E: Vergne outlasts di Grassi for Punta del Este victory

Photo: Getty Images
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Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.

Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.

The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.

DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.

Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.

Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.