Mid-Season Review: Adrian Sutil

Adrian Sutil’s move to Sauber from Force India was initially perceived to be a sideways step, but with the team suffering their most fruitless campaign yet, it can only be seen as a step backwards. Nico Hulkenberg’s replacement was always going to be a difficult title to live up to, but the German’s failure to score any points so far this season has led to an increasing amount of pressure on his seat. With Giedo Van Der Garde waiting in the wings, Adrian will need to improve in the second half of the season or else he may find himself looking for new employers sooner than he would have previously foreseen.

Season So Far…

Australian Grand Prix
11th
Malaysian Grand Prix
Retired
Bahrain Grand Prix
Retired
Chinese Grand Prix
Retired
Spanish Grand Prix
17th
Monaco Grand Prix
Retired
Canadian Grand Prix
13th
Austrian Grand Prix
13th
British Grand Prix
13th
German Grand Prix
Retired
Hungarian Grand Prix
11th

Sutil’s Struggles

Adrian Sutil certainly exploded back onto the Formula One grid in Melbourne last year. Behind the wheel of the Force India, Adrian briefly led the Australian Grand Prix on a contra-strategy which ultimately proved to be a touch too ambitious. Regardless, the man who was tipped for success as far back as his Spyker days looked to be finally fulfilling his potential. However, so far this season, Adrian has been unable to live up to the billing.
It is very difficult to be overly critical of either Sauber driver as they have lacked the machinery to perform. Yet, I cannot help but feel that Sauber would have points at present if they had had a certain Mr.Hulkenberg in the car. Neither Gutierrez nor Sutil have been in a position to snatch points from the crazy races such as Monaco or Canada, for one reason or another. Sutil may have been merely tenths away from points in Hungary, but for Button to finish in P10 despite McLaren’s strategic calamities screams not of Sutil’s improvements but of Sutil’s failure to stay ahead of a man who was practically a pit-stop behind. Button may have executed an excellent drive, but for a driver of Sutil’s experience, on a track which is notoriously difficult for overtaking, I would have liked to have seen more. A single point could have changed the whole perspective of this review as it would have demonstrated real progress. Once again, it is another nearly moment for both Sauber and Sutil, (in a career full of them).

Sutil’s Seat

Adrian has certainly been given the hurry up by his employers if what we are led to believe is true. Widespread rumors have surfaced that Giedo Van Der Garde, Sauber’s third driver, could potentially take Sutil’s seat before the end of the season.
It does make a lot of sense. Adrian has unfortunately under-performed this season, and while his teammate has suffered similar struggles,  it is to be expected that Sutil’s experience would see him beat Esteban on a regular basis – something which he has admittedly achieved. However, with Sauber still in financial quandaries, Gutierrez’s seat becomes a lot safer at the expense of Adrian Sutil’s seat, which is far less lucrative. Van Der Garde is backed by the fashion company McGregor, which would mean more money for the team which could then allow them to further develop the car. If Adrian wants to retain his seat, he needs to demonstrate that he has the pace to compensate for his comparative lack of funding, but if he lives up to his potential, then he could do enough to secure his future. The next few races really are critical.

As For The Rating…

Adrian Sutil’s 2014 campaign so far warrants 5/10
Slightly better than Gutierrez because Sutil has slightly out-performed his teammate, but perhaps not to the extent that was initially expected. While the P11 earned in Hungary could have been even better, it will give Adrian hope heading into the summer break, that the points drought will end. Sutil will need to start fulfilling his potential when he returns from his holidays as Van Der Garde will be a threat looming large at the back of the garage. Perhaps seeing him day-in and day-out will spur Sutil on – is he a man that operates well under pressure? We will surely find out…
    

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