Adrian Sutil insists that he feels no pressure to emulate predecessor Nico Hulkenberg’s Sauber achievements as they swap places for the 2014 Formula 1 season.
Hulkenberg is returning to Force India this year after a single campaign with Sauber, while Sutil moves in the opposite direction.
After a quiet start, Hulkenberg was one of the sensations of late 2013, producing a string of spectacular underdog performances for Sauber. Asked whether Hulkenberg’s form was a source of pressure, Sutil said it was not on his mind.
“Sure, he did a good job,” the German said at the AUTOSPORT International motorsports show, “but I don’t see that as pressure. You always get pressure your whole life if you want to achieve anything. I want to have competition, I like it.”
Sutil said moving to Sauber had been good for him after spending his whole F1 career so far with what is now Force India. He joined the team as a test driver when it was known as Midland in 2006, then raced for it from 2007-11 and again in ’13, bridging its Spyker period into the Force India era.
“I think this new team is a very good challenge for me,” said Sutil. “It’s a new step and I needed it after so long with the same team.
“There are a lot of benefits: it’s close to my home in Switzerland, I can speak German there, and it’s got one of the best wind tunnels, so there’s a lot of potential.”
Force India has changed both its drivers for 2014, with Sergio Perez moving from McLaren to join Hulkenberg. While Sutil was able to secure a Sauber seat, his former teammate Paul di Resta looks unlikely to remain in F1, something Sutil says he regrets
“He’s a strong driver and I enjoyed working with him so it’s a shame he’s not there but that’s how quickly it can go,” said Sutil. “Nevertheless, he’s still a young driver and there could be a chance for him in Formula 1 again if he can find his way.”