Sutil feeling confident about Hungary and his F1 future

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Adrian Sutil feels confident that Sauber is making some good progress up the grid this season following a successful German Grand Prix at Hockenheim last weekend.

The German driver retired from the race after a spin, but was wholly pleased with the weekend and the pace that he had underneath him. Although the season hasn’t gone to plan so far, he is feeling optimistic for the future.

“It would be nice to have some more success and some better results, but the situation is like that,” Sutil explained to the media on Thursday. “Formula 1 goes up and down sometimes, you have to get up again, that’s what we’re trying. It’s quite encouraging to have the last race at Hockenheim, we were much closer and finally we could fight against better teams.

“If you look at it optimistically, there was a chance for a point. Of course, a few cars didn’t finish, but we were just able to race. We raced with Raikkonen in the Ferrari, with Toro Rosso, with Force India. It was much better, and the whole weekend in general, we were much closer to the top ten. I expect a better final half of the season.”

Sutil was rumored to be on his way out of Sauber for the race at Hockenheim, giving reserve driver Giedo van der Garde a chance to step up. However, he is not bothered about the speculation and made light of it in Hungary.

“I think for half of my career they said ‘Adrian is out’ – I’m still here, 120th grand prix, any more questions?” he joked. “I’ll be here for much longer, so sorry, but you’ll have to live with my face!

“We are good here, and the team is holding together in this time. This is no problem.

“We will try to get out of this difficult situation, I am sure, then you can also write some good stuff about us.”

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup

IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.



Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III