As Spyker's Adrian Sutil heads to Malaysia for his first-ever race at Sepang, the team website caught up with the young German to discuss how he prepares for yet another new event... Adrian Sutil, Spyker F1 Team. Photo by...
As Spyker's Adrian Sutil heads to Malaysia for his first-ever race at Sepang, the team website caught up with the young German to discuss how he prepares for yet another new event...
Q: Another race track you've never visited. How do you prepare for this?
Adrian Sutil: As I have only been to a handful of tracks on the calendar, I prepare for most races in the same way at the moment. Before the race week, I try and learn the circuit layout by playing F1 simulation computer games and look at previous years' data to fine-tune the approach.
When I get to the track, I also walk the circuit with my engineer, looking at the corners and the track surface, looking for the lines and any bumps that you'd need to avoid. But at the end of the day, you just have to get on with it and after a few laps you have to be OK.
Q: Last year you completed three Friday practice sessions as a test driver, now you're a fully-fledged race driver, how important are the Friday sessions for you now?
AS: Now the sessions have been extended to 90 minutes, you have a lot more time to get to know the circuit, which is of course very important for me as I haven't driven on many before. It's good preparation for the race weekend too as you can get used to the car and the track on a Friday rather than on a Saturday morning before Qualifying.
Q: The team didn't participate in last week's Sepang test and is now introducing a new aero package in Malaysia. Does that put even more emphasis on the Friday sessions this time out?
AS: The aero updates will be put on the car for the first practice session, but I don't think we will miss out at all by not going to the test. I know that the team has made sure the modifications work in the wind tunnel and they know that they will make the car faster -- you don't need to test if you are sure of this. For me, the car will only be easier to drive, not more difficult.
Q: What did you learn from Australia and what will you continue to work on in Malaysia?
AS: I've never raced at Sepang before, but I am familiar with the layout and am looking forward to getting back in the car. I learnt a lot in Australia and now I want to put that into practice in Malaysia. The aim is to be fast, not to pick up any penalties -- which I know won't happen again -- and do a good race.
Q: And how was the break between races?
AS: It was pretty good, not just a holiday, we did do some training as well! I went with my trainer Alex and Lewis Hamilton to Koh Samui and then onto Bali in Indonesia. Lewis left to go to the test, but I stayed to do a bit more training before going to Malaysia for the race. It's tough on drivers so you've got to be prepared!