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.