Adrian Sutil says Kimi Raikkonen's successful F1 comeback inspiration for him
German not worried it will take him time to get back up to speed
By James Galloway in Barcelona. Last Updated: 01/03/13 7:06pm
Adrian Sutil has played down the length of time it may take him to get back up to speed with the cut and thrust of Formula 1 by pointing to the example of Kimi Raikkonen last year as showing how quickly drivers can rediscover their old form.
The German driver, after weeks of speculation, was finally confirmed as Paul di Resta's team-mate at Force India for the new season on Thursday and on Friday returned for his second outing in their 2013 car at Barcelona, completing 62 laps and recording the rain-hit day's sixth-fastest time.
With just one day left in the VJM06, on Saturday, before Melbourne, Sutil will in total have had just three days back in an F1 car this winter since his last grand prix appearance in Brazil in November 2011.
However, asked if he envisaged having to go through a period of acclimatising to racing again during the opening flyaway rounds, a defiant Sutil responded: "I don't think about problems, I look forward to the first races.
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"I'm a positive person, not a negative person. If I only look on the problems and difficulties I get myself into a real problem.
"So I'm confident and just one year out of racing...I take Kimi as the best example. He was the most consistent driver in the whole field last year and had two years of break [from F1]."
The 30-year-old added that while it was always nice to have as much time as possible in a car, he isn't a fan of testing for testing's sake in any case and so is eager to return to racing.
"You can have more days and you're just feeling more comfortable, but our car is quite easy to drive so I feel quite comfortable already," he insisted. "You can always have more test days but sometimes you're just driving around, and I like racing and not so keen on testing the whole time.
"Sometimes you get lost a little bit in all these different settings and I think we had enough and can go from Australia and see where it goes. It's a long season and we can develop our car anyway throughout the season, so we have to be strong on that time."
Although Sutil effectively auditioned for the seat on Day Three of last week's Barcelona test, Friday's represented his first official day as an F1 race driver again.
Asked if he felt any different knowing the seat was now his, the German replied: "It's just different. I'm happy to be confirmed now and have clarity. It's a different feeling, but I was driving quite relaxed last week to be honest because I took it as a chance to be back in a Formula 1 car. No real expectations, just wanted to see if I'm still quick, so I enjoyed that day.
"It's much better of course now so I can concentrate on the first few races and I can look forward to them."