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.”

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.