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Sutil hopes to match Fisichella

Sutil, who drove for the team in its previous Spyker avatar as well, felt roping in the vastly experienced Fisichella has brightened the prospects of the Formula One team.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 12, 2008 09:38 PM IST

Force India's young German driver Adrian Sutil reckons having three-time champion Giancarlo Fisichella as a teammate raises the bar for him and believes the challenge would be to match up to the Italian.

Sutil, who drove for the team in its previous Spyker avatar as well, felt roping in the vastly experienced Fisichella has brightened the prospects of the Formula One team.

Recalling his last season's experience with the Silverstone-based outfit, Sutil said, "Christijan (Albers) was a good driver, but he had some problems in the middle of the season. He was under pressure and he made mistakes. But at the beginning he was pushing me quite a lot and that was a nice situation.

"Now, I have it again, with an even stronger teammate, and people know that he is strong. He comes out of Renault, he has won Grands Prix, so he is one of the best guys in F1," the German told 'Autosports' magazine.

"For me, I think it's very important to be at his level. If I am there, that should be good for my future," he added.

There was not an iota of pretension as Sutil made it clear that his priority was to win an F1 race as early as possible.

Asked how long he would like to stay with Force India, Sutil said, "It depends. I want to win as soon as possible, to step up. But that could be with this team. I feel very good, I like the people, and this will be my third year with them.

"In my first year when I was a test driver they were very friendly, they welcomed me, and I will never forget that. It's a great team to be with, and hopefully they will do a big step, and I will be alright to stay with them," Sutil said.

The driver said since Vijay Mallya, along with the Mol family, took over the side, the team has witnessed some positive changes and sported a more professional look.

"Yes, there is a change. We have a better structure in the team, a better way of working, we are more professional. They have the possibility now to develop something.

"The year before they had the ideas, but they couldn't do it. It was very sad. Now there is progress, we can see it," he said.

On the new car, Sutil felt there was not much change in the machine from what he drove last year but driving without traction control did make it look different.

Sutil also sounded pragmatic with his targets for the forthcoming season.

"I don't think we should expect too much for this year. I hope there is a change, I think we should get quite a lot of aerodynamic downforce, and that will hopefully be half a second or even more. We are still finding a little bit more downforce every day," he said.

"I am confident, but we don't yet know it it's enough to reach the second qualifying session. If we could reach the second qualifying, and score maybe one, two, or three points, then this is the range where we should be aiming," he added.

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