After talking about the big stories and ranking our Top 10 drivers from the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship season, my colleague Chris Estrada and I are taking a look back on how each of the 23 Formula One drivers who took to the grid fared this past year.
Finishing 13th this season after a season away from the F1 paddock was Adrian Sutil…
No. 15 Force India-Mercedes
2013 Stats: 13th Place, 0 Wins, 0 Podiums, 1 Top-5, 8 Top-10s, 11 Laps Led
Average Start: 12.7
Average Finish: 13.4
DiZinno says: It was a mixed bag for Sutil in his return to Formula One after a one-year hiatus. Led on his return in Australia and put in a terrific drive at Monaco to take fifth. The highlights were few and far between in the second half as the Force India struggled for balance after the Pirelli tire change, but still, Sutil bagged points in four of the last nine races and that was nothing to scoff at. Perhaps he’s this current generation’s Nick Heidfeld in relation to Michael Schumacher – dependable, under-the-radar, and a consistent points scorer – but not an otherworldly driver like his countryman, in this case, Sebastian Vettel. You’d have to expect more of the same with Sauber in 2014, perhaps with a slightly higher ceiling.
Estrada says: Sutil seems to be Formula One’s equivalent to a point guard with the mid-range jumper that will earn him a steady paycheck but not the other stuff required to become a superstar. The German can get on point-scoring streaks but as Tony alludes to, he’s going to rarely set the track on fire. He could’ve done without Esteban Gutierrez hitting him in China as well as the wheel nut issues in Malaysia and Spain, but Sutil still earned three consecutive Top-10s at Monaco (fifth), Montreal (10th) and Silverstone (seventh) during the first half. Past the mid-point of the year, things got dicey for Force India; however, Sutil persevered and did his part to keep the squad at sixth place among the constructors.