SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Adrian Sutil wasted no time dwelling on the past on his return to China on Thursday for the first time since a 2011 nightclub brawl left him with a criminal record and almost ended his Formula One career.
“No worries, no emotions. The past, for me, is done and I‘m concentrating on my future,” was the Force India driver’s clipped reply on being asked how he felt to be back for the Chinese Grand Prix.
The German was handed an 18-month suspended jail sentence and fined $261,700 after the incident that left Eric Lux, the chief executive of Renault F1 (now Lotus) owners Genii capital, needing stitches for a neck wound caused by a broken champagne glass.
The criminal record had led to some fears that Sutil, dropped by Force India at the end of 2011 before being re-hired this season, might have problems in getting a Chinese entry visa.
Sutil was happier talking about a season that started impressively with a seventh place in Australia more than a year after his last race.
“The car, for my opinion, is very good. It’s the best car I’ve driven,” he said. “Very neutral balance, quite good on the tires and the race pace is very competitive.”
Problems with a new type of wheel nut caused a double retirement for the team in Malaysia but Sutil said that issue had been resolved and Force India were confident for the Shanghai weekend.
“Everything is possible. It’s in my hands, I think, so I have targets and try to do my best to reach those...the podium is my goal.”
Editing by Tom Pilcher