Sutil: F1 more difficult with testing restrictions

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Adrian Sutil is frustrated by the strict testing restrictions that are currently in place in Formula 1, believing that they do not allow drivers to perform to the best of their ability.

The Sauber driver has raced in F1 since 2007, when testing restrictions were more lenient and teams were allowed to conduct more running over the winter and throughout the season.

Now, in an attempt to stop costs from spiralling, teams are limited to just three pre-season tests and four during the season. This figure is set to fall for 2015, but Sutil feels that the sport would benefit from lifting these restrictions.

“Sometimes I think we’re definitely not driving enough,” Sutil explained in Hungary. “Just from race to race, we have a set of softs, a set of hards and that’s it. Then you go to qualifying and do this a few more laps, and that’s it.

“It would be nice to just drive a little bit more, and also with the tires we have, they last only one lap and it would be much nicer to have a tire that is stronger and lasts longer.”

With the new technical regulations for 2014 causing a great change in the feel and driving style of the cars in F1, pre-season testing was more valuable than ever. However, Sutil does not feel that the drivers had enough time, and although he is still enjoying Formula 1, he believes that the limits on testing offers less of a chance to impress on track.

“I still enjoy it,” he said. “There are changes over the years, some you like, some you don’t like. From a driver’s point of view, you are always most happy when you drive and can test and you know the car really well.

“It’s quite difficult in Formula 1 right now, especially after the winter tests when you have three or four days with this kind of cars and then you have to deliver. Very difficult, yes, then you do mistakes in the race, and you’re not good enough.

“It would be nice to drive more.”

Final 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona results, stats

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — The 2023 Rolex 24 at Daytona overall results were all streaks: two consecutive victories in the endurance classic for Meyer Shank Racing and three in a row for Acura.

And Helio Castroneves became the second driver to win three consecutive Rolex 24s and the first to win in three straight years (Peter Gregg won in 1973, ’75 and ’76; the race wasn’t held in ’74 because of a global oil crisis).

Starting from the pole position, Tom Blomqvist took the checkered flag in the No. 60 ARX-06 that led a race-high 365 of 783 laps with co-drivers Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Colin Braun.

RESULTS: Click here for the finishing order in the 61st Rolex 24 at Daytona l By class

Meyer Shank Racing now has two Rolex 24 victories and the 2022 championship since entering the premier prototype category of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2021.

“I think what’s so special about this team is we are a small team compared to some of our opponents, but the atmosphere, the way we work, enables people to get the best out of themselves, and I think that’s why we’re such high achievers,” Blomqvist said. “I think there’s no egos. It’s a very open book, and that just enables each and every one of us to reach our potential. I think that’s why we’ve achieved so much success in really a short time at this level of competition.”

It’s the 16th IMSA victory for MSR.

The 61st running of the Rolex 24 at Daytona marked the debut of the Grand Touring Prototype category that brought hybrid engine technology to IMSA’s top level.

In other categories:

LMP2: James Allen passed Ben Hanley on the final lap and delivered a victory in the No. 55 ORECA by 0.016 seconds. It’s the second IMSA victory for Proton Competition, which last won at Sebring in 2012. It was the first Rolex 24 victory for Allen and co-drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Fred Poordad and Francesco Pizzi.

GTD Pro: Cooper MacNeil won in the last start of his IMSA career as the No. 79 Mercedes-AMG GT3 scored the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for WeatherTech Racing and the team’s fourth career victory.

MacNeil, who co-drove with Maro Engel, Jules Gounon and Daniel Juncadella, earned his 12th career victory and first at the Rolex 24.

“Winning by last IMSA race is tremendous,” MacNeil said.

GTD: The No. 27 Heart of Racing Team delivered the first Rolex 24 at Daytona for Aston Martin, which has been competing in endurance races at Daytona International Speedway since 1964. Drivers Marco Sorensen, Roman De Angelis, Darren Turner and Ian James (also the team principal) earned the victory in the English brand’s 13th attempt.

It’s also the first Rolex 24 at Daytona win for Heart of Racing, which has seven IMSA wins.

LMP3: Anthony Mantella, Wayne Boyd, Nico Varrone and Thomas Merrill drove the No. 17 AWA Duqueine D08 to victory by 12 laps for the team’s first class win in IMSA.


STATS PACKAGE FOR ROLEX 24 HOURS OF DAYTONA:

Fastest laps by driver

Fastest laps by driver after race (over the weekend)

Fastest laps by driver and class after race

Fastest lap sequence

Lap chart

Leader sequence

Race analysis by lap

Stint analysis

Time cards

Pit stop time cards

Best sector times

Race distance and speed average

Flag analysis

Weather report

NEXT: The 2023 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season will resume with the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring March 18 with coverage across NBC, USA and Peacock.