Adrian Sutil, like many other drivers made his way into F1 by first becoming a test driver, in Sutil’s case it was for Midland F1 in 2006. He impressed enough at tests and on occasion as third driver, to secure a race seat for the team (then called Spyker F1) for 2007.
Debut & Spyker (2007)
Sutil quickly impressed the team as he out qualified and outperformed his team-mate Christijan Albers at every race. Even after Albers was replaced with Markus Winkelhock and then with Sakon Yamamoto, Sutil continued to outperform them, showing that he was clearly number 1 in the team. However a lack of budget and pace from the Spyker saw Sutil racing at the back of the field, with little hope of getting any further forward.
However with a penalty for Tonio Liuzzi at the 2007 Japanese Grand Prix saw Sutil pick up his and Spyker’s first ever world championship point.
Force India (2008-Present)
Sutil remained with the team, now remained Force India for 2008, this time partnering Renault refugee Giancarlo Fisichella. Yet nothing had really changed. The team lacked the pace and the finances to develop the car out of being a back-marker.
At the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix the chance of a dream 4th place finish for Sutil was cruelly taken away when in the dying laps Kimi Raikkonen’s out of control Ferrari hit the German’s car and forced him to retire. It was the only highlight (for all of the wrong reasons) of an otherwise dismal season. It was announced during the latter stages of the 2008 season that Sutil would again partner Fisichella at Force India for 2009.
2009 would prove to be a much better year for Sutil and bring him his long awaited first points in F1. The German put in several strong drives with the Force India looking to show improved performance, most notably at the German GP. He ran a comfortable 2nd before an incident after his first pit stop saw him and his old nemesis Kimi Raikkonen connect, damaging the Force India’s front wing and sending the German to the back. Sutil also ran a strong 6th at the rain socked Chinese GP before crashing out, a mere 6 laps from the flag.
However at the Italian GP Sutil finally managed to get his points with a strong 4th place finish after starting a superb 2nd. Another stunning qualifying session by the German saw him line up 3rd at the Brazilian GP, but that race will be remember more so for his incident with Jarno Trulli , where the Italian accused Sutil of running him off the road.